Fixing "Smeary" Hardwood Floors

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated January 1, 2018)

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.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...


Removing Fleas from Your Dog's Kennel

Fleas are nasty and any way you can avoid them, and prevent them from getting on your dog is a good way. Keep fleas out ...

Discover More


Although adept at hunting small ground game, the Dachshund is not used much for this anymore. His friendly, clean, loyal ...

Discover More


The Otterhound possesses great endurance and superb swimming abilities. His determination and strong nose make him a ...

Discover More

Tough Cleaning Jobs Require Brawny! Brawny paper towels provide the versatility you need: the strength for demanding jobs and the softness to clean up your child's messy face. This 24-roll pack of pick-a-size sheets can handle just about every cleaning task in your home. Check out Brawny 24-Pack Giant Paper Towels today!

More Cleaning Tips

Restore Shine to Wood Floors

Wood floors can be a beautiful decoration in your home, but as they get older, they can become dull. To restore the shine ...

Discover More

Wood Floor Wax

Wood flooring is a beautiful and classy kind of floor covering. To bring out its beauty and shine, try using wax as part ...

Discover More

Cleaning Cherry Wood Floors

If you are looking for an exotic look in your home decor, then one of the best options you can choose is cherry wood ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.