Can you buff scratches out of a wooden floor?

Wooden floors are more practical than carpet, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t occasionally suffer from knocks and bumps that affect their surface. It’s actually very easy to remove minor scratches with minimal fuss, but how you treat minor surface blemishes very much depends upon the type of wooden flooring that you have.

Sanding your wooden floor

More serious damage can be treated according to the construction of your floor. Real wooden floors can be sanded down with impunity, whereas engineered flooring, which has a real wood veneer, can tolerate sanding up to five times before you run the risk of exposing the underlying ply.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that laminate is topped by a wood veneer. According to The Guardian, since laminate flooring is actually plastic imprinted with a photo-realistic image of wood, scratches simply cannot be repaired, making it a much less attractive option for a hard-wearing floor.

Repairing deep scratches

It’s impossible to sand out a deep scratch, so this type of damage needs to be filled and then sanded. If you take a look at the huge choice of engineered wooden floors at, you’ll see that they come in a wide range of colours, so you need to find a wood putty that exactly matches the wood for the most invisible repair work.

Apply the wood putty carefully, leave it to set, and use fine-grade sandpaper to bring the repaired area back in line with the rest of the surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth, allow to dry, and top with a layer of varnish to seal the repair.

Fixing minor scratches

Using wire wool, carefully rub at the scratched area in the direction of the wood’s grain. You may need to gently buff the surrounding area, too, enabling the scratched area to blend into the surrounding wood. Using a wax stick in the same colour as your wood floor, gently rub over the damaged area, leave the wax to dry for a few minutes, and then buff with a soft cloth.

Very minor scratches are unlikely to penetrate the wood, and a gentle rub with a cloth soaked in floor cleaner may be all that is needed. Rinse clean and apply a surface finish for protection.