Author Topic: Help with hardwood floor repair?  (Read 464 times)

salt cured

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Help with hardwood floor repair?
« on: April 12, 2019, 11:04:16 AM »
I hosted a party a few years back and used a folding chair that ended up scratching up the floor around my dining table (and it's probably worsened over time as I've ignored it). I live in a pretty small town and none of the contractors I've been able to find are interested in the job, so I've resolved to do it myself.

What's the best approach here? I'd like to do a nice job as the spot isn't really hidden (it's on the path from kitchen to living room). Google searches bring up some odd recommendations ("slather mayonnaise on it!") and some other ideas that seem reasonable but not ideal (use wood filler wax). I'm thinking the best thing is to sand the length of each damaged board, stain, and then seal (I assume I have some kind of polyurethane on there). But I don't know anything about hardwood (but I'm handy enough).

Any suggestions? I'd like to do what's best and don't mind putting in a little more effort and money for that (well, short of refinishing the whole floor). I know the scratches look pretty deep, but the floor is pretty old and has lots of character, so I don't think I'd need to get the boards perfectly flat for it to blend in. Thanks!


BudgetSlasher

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Re: Help with hardwood floor repair?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 10:01:40 AM »
I hosted a party a few years back and used a folding chair that ended up scratching up the floor around my dining table (and it's probably worsened over time as I've ignored it). I live in a pretty small town and none of the contractors I've been able to find are interested in the job, so I've resolved to do it myself.

What's the best approach here? I'd like to do a nice job as the spot isn't really hidden (it's on the path from kitchen to living room). Google searches bring up some odd recommendations ("slather mayonnaise on it!") and some other ideas that seem reasonable but not ideal (use wood filler wax). I'm thinking the best thing is to sand the length of each damaged board, stain, and then seal (I assume I have some kind of polyurethane on there). But I don't know anything about hardwood (but I'm handy enough).

Any suggestions? I'd like to do what's best and don't mind putting in a little more effort and money for that (well, short of refinishing the whole floor). I know the scratches look pretty deep, but the floor is pretty old and has lots of character, so I don't think I'd need to get the boards perfectly flat for it to blend in. Thanks!



I wouldn't do that. At least at my skill level I would be concerned that what is now an unsightly scratch would become two board in the middle of the room that were a different color with a different sheen of finish.

As odd as it sounds the mayonnaise is not that far off (well the oil part anyways). I probably would try, a light local sanding (to even on the torn fibers), using a finishing oil (walnut/danish/boiled linseed(I like to cut 50/50 with mineral spirits)) and wipe in onto the scratch, let it dry, and use some wipe on wipe off polyurethane on the area and call it good until the floor needs refinishing. I think that the color and lack of finish are more eye catching than the removed material. You could also use a stain in place of the finishing oil, and my FIL likes to use a 1-part BLO 1-part mineral spirits 1-part polyurethane mixture.

You say the floor has plenty of "character" do you have an area that you could practice on that isn't visible? Say somewhere in the corner of a closet or under a dresser of bed?

lthenderson

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Re: Help with hardwood floor repair?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 12:11:26 PM »
You may be able to minimize the appearance of the scratch by filling it in with a new coating of polyurethane but there isn't much you can do to make it invisible short of refinishing the entire floor and putting protective pads on the folding chairs the next time they are brought out. There are a couple problems with just trying to finish just a couple boards. First, wood floors change color with time and exposure to sunlight so what worked then may be hard to match now. Also, floors lose their luster due to thousands of micro abrasions over time to the top coat and if you apply a new top coat to just one area, the luster, even if the color is a dead match, will be different enough to be noticeable.  If you have enough time, patience and extra flooring pieces, you can practice and adjust the recipe until you get something close in color and then with time and adding thousands of micro abrasions to the area, the luster may fade to the point where the repair is not noticeable anymore.

Papa bear

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Re: Help with hardwood floor repair?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 12:14:48 PM »
Agree with above advice. 

Do you have any extra boards? Maybe in a box in a crawl space or attic?  You can replace the board, though I have never done it myself.  I have a guy that does those repairs for me on rentals.   Basically you have to cut out the old piece, and mess with the tongue and groove to get the new piece to fit back in.  I do a ton of diy work and remodeling. This is something I hire out.


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pbkmaine

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Re: Help with hardwood floor repair?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 01:08:03 PM »
A friend of mine with a similar problem pulled a board from the back of a closet to patch. The scratched board went back in the closet with a rug over it.

But I would try rubbing a walnut half over it to see if the scratch goes away first.

salt cured

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Re: Help with hardwood floor repair?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 06:46:57 AM »
Thanks all. I haven't tackled this yet, but I do have linseed oil and mineral spirits in the basement and some walnuts in the pantry :)

I like the suggestion of testing the quick fixes out in a hidden spot (I have some of those upstairs in the bedroom). I plan to try out BudgetSlasher's suggestion and if that doesn't work well, see if I can't get a pro to perform a transplant from a closet to the dining room (good idea!).