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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    Hello, we have dark hardwood floors which were installed in a brand new condo about a year ago. I have a large dog which has put some scratches and marks on the flooring. These scratches are not deep and the sun usually has to hit the floor at a certain angle in order to see the them. I do not think sanding and restaining the floors is the best route - or even a route I'm willing to take at this time. I am wondering if simply applying polyurethane to the scratched areas would work. Or, is there some other product out there that I can simply brush on to fill in the scratches. I am hoping something is available which will not require restaining as the floors are very dark and I think it would be almost impossible to match the color/texture/style.

    Also, as a side note - I have purchased toe nail covers for my dog, so this doesn't keep happening!

    Thanks for any guidance,
    Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    San Diego, CA
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    Default Re: scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    Well Josh, you could try some of the wipe on poly and touch up scratches. If they're abundant, you would be better off re-doing the whole area. If not, the touched up area will be different than the rest.

    Before putting on a new coat of anything, you'll want to do a light scuff sanding of the floor to ensure the new coat will bond to the old. Use something like 150 or 180 grit and you'll be fine. It won't take long and could probably be done by hand if you don't have an orbital sander and the area's not huge. Be sure to do a good job of vacumming up the dust so your surface will be smooth.

    Good Luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,131

    Default Re: scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    josh,

    Impossible to say from here exactly what it is your dealing with for a finish and consequently what might or might not work for touching up these scratches. It all depends.

    Was this pre-finished flooring?

    If so, it's likely a ceramic finish and getting additional coats to adhere to that will likely prove to be difficult, if not impossible. Might seem to adhere for a short while and then peel off. In that instance, removal of the existing finish is the safest route to a reliable result.

    If the finish/clear coat was applied on-site, do you know what that finish is?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    3

    Default Re: scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    Thanks much for the responses.

    The floors were prefinished. They cover a pretty large area - maybe 800 sq. ft. The scratches are spread out in different parts of the space, but mostly concentrated by the front door. Will it work if I take the fine grit sandpaper and just sand the area immediately on top of the scratch and then lightly brush the poly onto this sanded area? I foresee myself on my hands and knees going around sanding quite a few 2-3 inch scratches and then going back with a can of poly and a brush. Will this work or will I see a lot of little differences on the floor?

    Thanks again for the responses and please let me know if I can clarify anything else.

    Josh

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    Quote Originally Posted by pwjoshua View Post
    The floors were prefinished. They cover a pretty large area - maybe 800 sq. ft. The scratches are spread out in different parts of the space, but mostly concentrated by the front door. Will it work if I take the fine grit sandpaper and just sand the area immediately on top of the scratch and then lightly brush the poly onto this sanded area? I foresee myself on my hands and knees going around sanding quite a few 2-3 inch scratches and then going back with a can of poly and a brush. Will this work or will I see a lot of little differences on the floor?

    Josh
    Will it work? (as in will the finish adhere) Maybe. It depends. I'll suggest that you try a few small trial areas before committing to all of it.

    Try sanding just the scratched spots with say some 220-240 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper(the black stuff). You might also consider using some liquid deglosser in addition to that....applied with a small-ish artist brush so as to keep it confined to the damaged area only. Sherwin-Williams has a really good/hot deglosser that is far superior to the Savogran brand and such others that you'd likely find on the shelf at the big-box. Apply just a little to the area and let it evaporate for a few minutes or so before applying the finish. (If the deglosser has a negative effect on the existing finish for some reason.....don't use it and sand only.)

    For the particular job you face, I'm gonna recommend that you try using a waterborne floor finish rather than an oil-based finish. Make sure what you use is rated for floors. Apply with another small brush. Two coats max. See can for recommended recoat times.

    Making these repairs invisible might be tough to do. They are most apt to be visible because/if the sheen of the overcoat finish doesn't match the existing finish. Can't see if you have something that is gloss, semi-gloss, satin or matte. That's something you'll have to determine from your end as best you can. You may be able to make things blend better by rubbing out the repairs after they are adequately dried/cured. Let's say 5 days minimum after final application. Try rubbing them and the immediate area around the repair briskly with some #0000 steel wool followed by a brisk rubbing/buffing with a soft cloth. If the repairs are too dull after this, try rubbing them out with some automotive glazing compound (the stuff used to do the final buff-out on a car paint job) You can probably find some at an automotive supply house or you might talk the guy down at the local body shop into giving or selling you some. (bring a jar with you)

    This compound is usually applied and worked with a foam buffing pad mounted on a drill or similar. You might need to do this also....or you might get away with just doing it by hand with a soft cloth. It depends. The higher the sheen you need to achieve, the faster the speeds you will probably need.

    Here's hoping the finish adheres for you. If it does......the same procedure and material would likely work to refinish larger areas of the floor.

    But here's a word to the wise - don't ever use a cleaning product or polishing product on the floors that contains any silicone...if you ever intend/hope to overcoat. Many furniture polishes and floor products contain silicone. Examples would be stuff like Pledge or similar, Liquid ****....etc. They won't necessarily tell you that there is silicone in them, but there is. Silicone contamination is a refinisher's worst nightmare. Also.....if you use this sort of product on the furniture sitting on this floor or the woodwork....and any of it gets on the floor....... same end result.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 01-29-2009 at 02:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    3

    Default Re: scratches to brand new hardwood floors

    Thanks A LOT for the detailed responses and directions on how to proceed. We have a box of floorboards left from the installation. I am planning on scratching one of these extras and practicing the technique prior to moving to the floor. Thanks again for the guidance.

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