How to Remove Scratches from Hardwood Floors [ 5 Easy Ways]

For those who take care of the hardwood floors in their house, scratches are the scariest nightmare. Stay calm: I will show you how to remove scratches from hardwood floors and some tips to prevent them from happening.

Some homeowners seek professional help, while others simply change their floors completely. But for those who want to revive and repair those scratches on their wood floors, there are several ways to do it, without having to hire professional help and spend a lot of money.

First, see how extensive the scratches are, to know what methods and materials you will need.

Type of Hardwood Floor ScratchHow to Remove It
1. Superficial ScratchesCan be removed with Varnish, Wood Stain Markers or Paint
2. Minor ScratchesCan be removed with Wax Stick, Hard Wax or Wood Repair Marker
3. Deep ScratchesCan be removed with Wood Filler or Sanding

Below you will find described, each of these methods with step by step instructions!

Tools and supplies

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Water
  • Hardwood Floor Cleaner
  • Hardwood Floor Stain Marker
  • Protective layer
  • Fine steel cloth
  • Wax Wood Repair Rod
  • Hard Wax
  • Wood Pencil
  • Mineral spirits
  • Scourer
  • Polyurethane coating
  • Spatula
  • Wood filler

If you want to create your own wood filler at home using only sawdust and glue this is the article for you!

How to Remove Superficial Scratches from Hardwood Floors

How to Remove Superficial Scratches from Hardwood Floors

It is perhaps as common as finding scratches on these floors. Some scratches can add character to your hardwood floors, while others may not look good. From light surface scratches to deep scratches, let’s see what you can do to repair these simple solutions.

Method 1: How to Remove Superficial Scratches from Hardwood Floors with Varnish

These types of repairs are easy because only the top layer of protective coating on your hardwood floor was scratched. 

To remove superficial scratches from hardwood floors follow this steps:

  1. Take your soft cloth and hardwood floor cleaner. 
  2. Remove dirt or dust so you don’t seal them later.
  3. Now that your hardwood floor is clean, take another soft cloth and moisten it with water. 
  4. Wipe the area again to make sure it is clean.
  5. Let the scratched area dry.
  6. Once dry, apply a new layer of protective coating. It can be a sealant, shellac, or any other type of polyurethane varnish.
  7. After applying the new protective layer, allow the area to dry overnight.

Want to remove polyurethane from wood? If yes this guide I wrote will help you step by step!

Method 2: How to Remove Superficial Scratches from Hardwood Floors with Wood Markers

To get rid of superficial scratches from hardwood floors, you will need a wood marker the color of your floor. You can get it at hardware stores.

Once you have it, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the scratch area with a soft cloth soaked in water. Thus, you will remove the remains of dirt and soil.
  2. Test the marker in an inconspicuous area to verify that the color fits correctly.
  3. Paint the scratch with the tip of the marker until it is the same shade as the rest of the hardwood floor.

Want to know how to remove permanent marker from wood? It is easier than you think!

Method 3: Remove Superficial Scratches from Hardwood Floors with Paint

Situations may arise where the use of the marker may be in vain and that is why we resort to paint . Unlike the marker, with the paint you add the color gradually in order to gradually reach the desired color.

In this case it is necessary to repeat the first operations listed above to ensure that the area to be corrected is perfectly clean, then rub the paint on the scratch with a cloth following the direction of the wood grain.

Apply it with a flat brush, let it dry for 12 hours and apply a second light coat. Wait at least 24 hours before walking on it to make sure the paint has adhered well to the wood.

Here are three ingenious ways to remove paint from wood!

How to Remove Minor Scratches from Hardwood Floors

How to Remove Minor Scratches from Hardwood Floors

Method 1: Remove Minor Scratches from Hardwood Floors using Wax Stick

Minor Scratches from Hardwood floors can be removed using the following steps:

  1. Begin this repair by cleaning the scratched area with a soft cloth and hardwood floor cleaner. 
  2. Clean the area of ​​all dirt and dust so you don’t seal it up later.
  3. Take your fine steel wool and rub it over the scratched area, make sure you are rubbing with the grain of the wood.
  4. Pay particular attention to the edges of the scratched hardwood floor. 
  5. Lightly rub the steel wool against the edges.
  6. Now that the area is clean and polished, take your wax stick and rub it over the scratched area.
  7. Give the wax filling 10 minutes to set and dry.
  8. Take your soft cloth and buff the area back and forth.
  9. Once complete, check the repaired area and wipe with a soft cloth if you notice any excess fill or dust.

Did you spilled by mistake candle wax on your furniture or floor? Find out here the easiest and safest method of removing candle wax from wood!

Method 2: Remove Minor Scratches from Hardwood Floors using Wood Repair Pencil

Laminate floors, an inexpensive alternative to hardwood floors, can be scratched easily. Therefore, it is necessary to have a strategy to correct these irregularities.

Remove scratches from hardwood floors as follow:

  1. After you have properly cleaned the scratched area, use a wood Repair Pencil available from floor repair kits to fill in the scratched area. 
  2. Wipe off excess wax and smooth it out with a damp rag or cloth.
  3. Let dry for 24 hours.
  4. Take some wood clay  also from the kit and fill in  the scratch until it is level with the floor.
  5. Wipe off the excess with a rag or cloth.

Method 3: Remove Minor Scratches from Hardwood Floors using Hard Wax

Scratches and small holes in the floor can be filled with hard wax. There are repair kits for this, usually with wax in different colors, so that the grain can also be imitated. The sets are often named according to the type of wood and the colors selected to match, for example, beech wood or oak wood.

Here are the steps to do it:

  1. Cleaning up scratches with a credit card, for example.
  2.  Remove loose pieces of wood, cut with a carpet knife if necessary.
  3.  Roughly sand sealed floors.
  4. Melt small pieces of wax with a soldering iron and fill the scratch with it. 
  5. If you want to imitate wood structure, you have to start with the lightest wax and then finish with darker shades.
  6. Use a plastic planer or a credit card to remove the excess.
  7. If necessary, make color corrections, add structural details. Plan off again.
  8. Clean filled scratches with a dry, dust-free cloth.
  9. Close sealed bottoms with a sealing pin.
  10. Polish sealed and oiled floors with polish or oil.

You can see exactly how to oil a wooden floor in 7 easy steps in this article I wrote!

Helpful TIP!
When using a soldering iron, be careful not to damage the wood from the heat.

How to Remove Deep Scratches from Hardwood Floors

How to Remove Deep Scratches from Hardwood Floors

If you don’t have a lot of experience with hardwood flooring, it is sometimes best left to the professionals. On average, you’ll find hardwood floor repair prices around $ 3 to $ 4 per square foot.

Method 1: Remove Deep Scratches from Hardwood Floors with Wood Filler

Repairing deep scratches in hardwood floors is a bit more complicated. This project will take more time and needs a little more attention. Sometimes if your deep scratch or gouge looks too big, it’s best to just fill the wood hole or repaint your hardwood floors. This will ensure a repair and perfectly match all the surrounding floor.

Here is how to remove scratches from hardwood floors using a wood filler:

  1. Take a soft cloth and moisten it with clean water. 
  2. Clean the same area and wipe off any dirt or dust. 
  3. Let this area dry completely before moving on.
  4. If your hardwood floors are coated with polyurethane, you must remove this layer so that you can completely repair the scratch. 
  5. If your hardwood floors don’t have a polyurethane coating, then you don’t have to worry about the next step.
  6. Dampen the scouring pad with the mineral spirits and gently rub the scratched area.
  7. With the scratched area clean and free of debris, apply a small amount of scratch wood filler and fill in the crack.
  8. Don’t worry if there is extra padding, this will be removed soon.
  9. Allow filled area to dry for 24 hours. 
  10. Once the filling is dry, take a putty knife and smooth the surface, blending it into the surrounding floor.
  11. With the scratched area filled and almost done, it’s time to seal the area. 
  12. Apply a thin layer of protective coating. Again, this can be sealer, lacquer, or a polyurethane coating.
  13. Let the protective layer dry for 24 hours without traffic or contact. 
  14. For best results, add two coats and allow to dry an additional 24 hours.

If the scratch has become a hole then you need to see this step by step tutorial how to fill a hole in wood. It will help you with 5 easy methods!

Method 2: Remove Deep Scratches from Hardwood Floors by Sanding

These cases are already a little more serious. When the hardwood floor scratch is deeper, sanding is used:

  1. Clean the area to be treated:  use a soft cloth with a little detergent to remove small particles of dust and dirt.
  2. Rinse the parquet to sanitize the work area more.
  3. Allow the parquet to dry .
  4. Fill in the scratch : Rub a wax stick over the scratched area (the wax is usually clear, but lightly colored products are available based on the wood color).
  5. Wait for the wax to dry : it takes about 10 minutes for it to harden completely.
  6. Leave the wax in place for at least a day before polishing it or adding another product.
  7. Polish the scratched area : use a soft cloth to bring it to its shine.
  8. After having cleaned and dried the hardwood (if the hardwood is coated with a layer of polyurethane sealant, it is necessary to delete before repairing the scratch).
  9. Go over the area with a rag and wait for it to dry .
  10. Fill the scratch:  apply a small amount of wood cream and make sure it has the same color as the floor, it is important to move in all directions to eliminate air bubbles (there are no problems if you overdo the quantities because you can always remove excess material at a later stage).
  11. Allow the filler to dry for at least 24 hours .
  12. Remove excess filler : take a spatula to use over the material to push it into the scratch and thus smooth the surface.
  13. Sand off excess material : Use a fine sandpaper pad to work on the surface of the scratch where the likely extra filler was smeared.
  14. Remove excess filler with a damp but relatively dry to the touch cloth.
  15. Seal the affected area : Apply a thin coat of the same sealant that was used for the rest of the floor. Decide whether to use a small brush with natural bristles or a paint roller.
  16. Seal the hardwood floor at least a couple of times .
  17. Wait for the surface treatment to dry for 24 hours before walking on that portion of the floor again.

How to Prevent Scratches on Hardwood Floors

Now that you know how to remove and hide scratches on hardwood floors, here are a series of tips and advice on how to avoid scratches on your hardwood floors:

  • Never drag furniture or heavy objects on the hardwood floor: get help to lift them and always place them very carefully
  • When you close the doors , be careful and check that there is nothing underneath. Even a small pebble is enough to leave a nice streak!
  • Place felt pads under chairs and tables
  • Take off your shoes at the entrance and put on non-slip socks made specifically for walking around the house. Pebbles or pieces of glass may get stuck under the sole
  • Protecting Furniture Legs You can stick small pads (felt protectors) under each leg of your furniture, tables and chairs so as not to scratch the wood floor.
  • Avoid walking with your shoes on: It is best to never walk with shoes on in the house because small rocks can attach to the sole and therefore scratch the surface of the hardwood.
  • Slide and Move Furniture Safely: If you need to move furniture to move it around, be sure to place a blanket underneath to avoid deep scratches and scratches in the wood.
  • Watch out for cat and dog claws: Pay particular attention to your pet’s claws which are often the cause of scratches on dark floors.

How to Remove Hardwood Floors Scratches using Vinegar

It is a nightmare, but before going crazy and screaming today we will tell you about a trick to remove scratches from the hardwood floors with vinegar.

You will need to:

  • Water
  • ¾ cup of oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Container
  • Sponge and cloth

Remove hardwood floors scratches using vinegar with these steps:

1. Clean the floor or the area where the scratches are, in order to remove any lint and dust that may be there.

2. Mix the oil and white vinegar in a bowl.

3. Pour the mixture over the scratches and let it rest for half an hour.

4. After the time has passed with the help of your sponge or cloth, begin to scrub strongly to eliminate the scratches on the floor , the process will actually be easier since the solution that we let stand will be able to remove the stains quickly.

5. Finally, wipe with a DRY cloth and remove all the residue left on the floor and that’s it.

This oily mixture will help polish your floors and is also effective in cleaning your wooden furniture.

How to avoid the appearance of small and deep scratches on the flooring?

Hardwood floors are expensive flooring options. Therefore, it is desirable to minimize the risk of scratches, chips and other damage.

Basic tips for caring for hardwood flooring and avoid scratches are:

  • Try not to let heavy objects with sharp edges fall to the floor.
  • Don’t wear high heels at home. Stiletto heels are especially dangerous for a wooden surface. It is best to use soft slippers as indoor shoes.
  • Monitor the length of the claws of domestic cats and dogs. It is recommended to wear special socks on their paws.
  • Place silicone pads on the furniture legs. It is recommended to lay rugs under chairs and armchairs that move on wheels.
  • For regular maintenance of the flooring, it is better to use specialized products recommended by the manufacturers of parquet and parquet boards. It is necessary to periodically use mastics, varnishes and polishes.


Now that you have read all these methods to remove any scratches from the hardwood floors, you just have to choose one and try, the scratch should go away in no time!

Keeping hardwood floors healthy is hard work, as any incident can cause a scratch. However, it is a task that you can achieve thanks to these simple methods to remove scratches from the floor, regardless of its material.

If there are scratches on your hardwood floor from the movement of furniture or the claws of the cats or dogs, use one of the above methods. Any of them are quite effective. 

Adrian Tapu

Adrian is a seasoned woodworking with over 15 years of experience. He helps both beginners and professionals expand their skills in areas like furniture making, cabinetry, wood joints, tools and techniques. Through his popular blog, Adrian shares woodworking tips, tutorials and plans related to topics such as wood identification, hand tools, power tools and finishing.

Adrian Tapu has 159 posts and counting. See all posts by Adrian Tapu