How To Fix Flooring Imperfections: Quick & Easy Repairs

how to fix floors

Life happens. And when life happens to your wood floors, you end up with imperfections. Your toddler drags a chair, a party guest drops a glass, you let your dog’s nails get a bit too long…the list is endless! Even if you’re incredibly careful, over time, you’re bound to have a few nicks and gouges. But take heart! You can repair most surface problems quite easily. We’ve got some handy tips for how to fix flooring imperfections that’ll have your home looking like new after many of life’s little mishaps.


Small Nicks & Gouges

how to fix flooring small scratchesWith just a few minutes and a few simple materials, you can easily fix small imperfections in your wood floor. All you need is painter’s tape, a plastic putty knife, and a filler crayon (best for nicks) or a colored wax filler stick (best for gouges) in a shade that matches your floor’s finish. Here are the steps for how to fix flooring with small nicks and gouges:

  1. Place painter’s tape on the wood around the nick or gouge to protect it.
  2. Fill the indentation with the crayon or wax stick. For best results when using a crayon, press it perpendicularly to the gouge.
  3. Smooth out the filler material with a putty knife.
  4. Remove the tape once the filler material is set.
  5. Polish the surface. When it’s smooth and the sheen matches the rest of the floor, you’re all done!


Large Gouges

how to fix flooring large gaugesLarge gouges are also easy to fix. You need: painter’s tape, wood filler, a plastic putty knife, a damp cloth, and fine-grit sandpaper. If you can’t find wood filler that matches your floor’s color, you can purchase stainable filler. If you’re using stainable filler, you’ll also need stain that matches your floor’s color as well as a small sponge brush for application. Here are the steps for how to fix flooring with large gouges:

  1. Place painter’s tape on the wood around the gouge to protect it.
  2. Fill the indentation with stainable or color-matching wood filler.
  3. When the filler is dry, remove unwanted residue by gently wiping a damp cloth around the spot.
  4. Lightly sand the dried filler until it’s smooth.
  5. Remove the painter’s tape.
  6. (If using stainable filler) Use a small sponge brush to apply a coat of stain to the filler.

    Pro Tip #1

    On larger, single board repairs, many professional floor finishers use blue tape and tape off the entire board on all board edges. This makes it easy to then spot sand/repair the damaged area. Then, they light sand the entire board, finally re-coating the whole piece. The idea behind this is that the board has a good protective coat.  The gloss sheen of the re-coating will tone down after 90-120 days generally, along with floor traffic and normal wear and tear.

    Pro Tip #2

    Protect the newly repaired area by placing a kitchen chair or two over the area overnight, even adding a ‘wet floor’ sign as a reminder. You’d be surprised how many people hire professionals to make repairs, or even do the repairs themselves, and then accidentally walk over the newly repaired surface before it has had adequate time to set.


    Adhesive Residue

    Sticky residue is a common problem with wood floors. Often it happens when adhesive-backed furniture pads become dislodged and adhere to the floor. After peeling up the pad, you’re left with a sticky spot. You know that scraping or using chemicals can hurt your floor’s finish. So, what’s the solution? Peanut butter! Here’s how to fix flooring with spots of adhesive residue using natural peanut butter:

    1. Spread natural peanut butter on the area and leave it for five minutes. [Note: It’s important to use natural peanut butter because it has the high oil content needed to attack the residue.]
    2. Wipe off the peanut butter with a warm, damp sponge.
    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed until the residue is completely gone.


    We Know How To Fix Flooring!

    Your friends here at Flanagan Paint & Supply are here to help with all of your home project needs. Whether you want more advice on how to fix flooring, recommendations for the right window treatments, tips for painting and staining, or guidance in selecting custom home products, you can count on us. And if your wood flooring has more nicks and gouges than you can count, ask us about renting our new Onfloor®16 Pro. It makes refinishing hardwood a breeze! So, stop in and see us at our West County location. Or, let us come to you for a free, in-home design consultation. Contact us today!