Love Your Wood Floor
Show your floor some love this winter and treat it to a little makeover. If the floor is in relatively good condition (a professional refinishing lasts on average for 10 years) you might want to get rid of those scratches, scrapes and general tiredness that has crept across the boards over the last few months. Here are some winter remedies designed to warm the cockles of your floor’s wooden heart!
Scrubbing out the scratches and scrapes
One of the most common blemishes on wood flooring is scratch and scrape marks caused by toys, pets, outdoor shoes and the like. Heavy furniture which has remained in situ for a long time as well as years of vacuuming can also contribute significantly to wood floor blemishes as well as general discolouration. If possible, it is a good idea to change the furniture around from time to time. If this is not possible (perhaps due to space issues) then you can minimise damage by taking the following steps:
First thing to do is to get down on your hands and knees and really scrutinise the floor. Use a magnifying glass if you need to, as it is important to accurately ascertain the depth and size of the marks you are going to tackle. A general rule of thumb for the gifted DIY-er is that if the scratch is on the veneer only or goes just a little way into the wood itself then it is likely you can successfully repair it. However, if the scratches go deeper they are not really scratches at all but gouges and should be handed over to a professional – unless you have experience of floor sanding and refinishing techniques yourself.
Preparation is everything
Before starting out vacuum the room thoroughly to remove residual dirt and grit particles. Next apply a small amount of white spirit on a rag and gently rub into the marked area. Allow to dry before moving on to the next step. When completely dry touch the area and it should feel slightly smoother than the rest of the floor.
Remember the aim here is to do a temporary concealment of these small blemishes, which you may need to re-do more than once and when it is time to sand and refinish the whole room the scratches will disappear naturally under the professional ministrations of a floor sanding specialist.
One of the easiest ways to hide scratch marks is to use a coloured putty pen. This you simply colour into the scratch mark areas and rub off gently with each application. When you are finished, polish around the area to make it blend in with the rest of the floor. Keep hold of the putty pen as you will probably need it again, depending upon the amount of traffic that particular area of the floor receives.
If the floor is relatively new you could try asking the manufacturer or the supplier to sell you a touch up solution, which will consist of everything you need to conceal small areas of damage including the exact shade of concealer to match the floor. However, if the floor is older this will probably not be an option.
Larger areas can be treated in the same way but if the scratches are spotted throughout the floor it may be a better option to re-stain the floor when finished. You can apply coloured woodstain with a fine bristled brush or by using a lint-free rag and always follow manufacturer’s guidelines making sure there is adequate ventilation in the room.