Fixing "Smeary" Hardwood Floors

 

Hardwood floors are a great accent for almost any home. However, every so often accidents happen where you may need to use some wood putty to fix a crack, dent, or gouge. Luckily, wood putty is a product that you can pick up at any local hardware or department store. This product designed to be used fairly easy, with as little fuss or muss as possible. Unfortunately if an accident occurs, or you are simply not as sure handed as you would like to be, you can end up with a "smeary" mess.

Fixing "smeary" hardwood floors is something that anyone can do, as long as you are willing to expend a little elbow grease, and use some imagination. Here are a few methods that you can use to help fix this problem, and once again reclaim your beautiful hardwood floors.

  • Sand. As long as the floors are true hardwood floors, and not laminate, you can simply sand the wavy smears away. You will need to use 220 or 300 grit dry sand paper, and gently sand the smeared areas away. Once you have removed the smears remove the leftover dust, and apply some paste wax to the area. Let the wax dry to a foggy haze, and then buff the area to a beautiful shine using a soft cotton cloth or diaper.
  • Scrape. If your wood floors are more along the lines of laminate flooring, then you may be able to scrape the smears off of the flooring. Use a straight safety razor, or paint scraper and remove the smears. Be sure that when you are doing this, that you are holding the scraper or blade at a shallow angle, and that you only use gentle pressure. If you hold the scraper at too steep of an angle, or use too much pressure, then you run the risk of damaging your floors.
  • Re-stain the wood. If you find yourself faced with a large number of smears from wood putty, you can always re-stain your wood floor. While this is more time consuming than other methods, if you use a dark stain, you will not be able to see the smears anymore.
  • Replace the floor. The single most expensive option, but also guaranteed to remove the smears, is to replace the floor. Either replace the floor with new hardwood, or use a laminate alternative.

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