Removing Scratches From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

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Scratches are common in hardwood floors as they receive traffic daily and can get damaged over an extensive period of time.

However, it is possible to remove the scratches and renew your hardwood floors to their old grateful condition.

Many people think that removing the scratches would involve sanding down the surface but that is not always necessary.

The best way to remove the scratches from hardwood floors without sanding is to add another coat of finish on the floors. This can fill up the scratches and provide support to the wood grain so it can settle back to its original form over time.

The method is quite easy and inexpensive so any homeowner can do it themselves.

Remove Scratches From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

However, there are some other methods as well through which you can make sure that the scratches are removed from the hardwood surface without sanding the floors.

Moreover, I have also written a complete guide on how to remove dog scratches on hardwood floors that requires a bit different treatment than fixing regular scratches.

But, you will have to stick to the end to get to know that.

Removing Scratches From Hardwood Floors Without Sanding

Below is a complete guide on how to remove the scratches from hardwood floors without sanding them.

Clean The Floors Gently

Whenever you’re thinking about removing scratches from the hardwood floors or carrying out any process which requires you to be in contact with the actual surface of the wood, it is necessary that you clean the hardwood floors first.

Often, a build-up layer on top of the wood’s surface denies access to the wood itself, and you would be wasting all your efforts on the layer of dirt and grime.

Clean The Floors Gently
Clean The Floors Gently

Even if the floors are not dirty to such an extent, it is important to ensure that the floors are still clean, as small dust particles or spillages can also alter the course of the entire process.

To clean the floors:

  1. Dry mop and vacuum first before you can move to any other step.
  2. Once done, use a damp mop or towel to clean the surface.
  3. Ensure there is not too much water and vinegar content as it can damage the surface of the wooden floors.

Besides, damp-mopping should be done lightly, and the mop should be tight enough on the floors.

Once this is done, you can check if the floor is clean; if there is still some dirt and grime, use a commercial cleaner or homemade cleaning detergent and dilute it in water according to the recommended concentrations.

Then, clean the floors with the solution and use a scrubbing brush if necessary.

If you can’t access a scrubbing brush or think it is too harsh and might scratch the floors, you can use a worn-out toothbrush to scrub the surface clean.

After cleaning and removing all the dust and dirt from the surface, it is time to dry the floors for the next steps. Use a towel or a microfiber cloth to soak up all the moisture from the floors.

Add A Coat of Finish Using A Bonding Agent

One of the best ways to remove scratches from hardwood floors without sanding is to apply another coat of finish on your floors by using a bonding agent.

If your floors are finished and scratched extensively, worry not, as the finish layer has received the scratches, not the wooden surface.

As a result, adding a layer can fill up the scratches, renew the finish layer, and provide extra protection.

Add A Coat of Finish Using A Bonding Agent
Add A Coat of Finish Using A Bonding Agent

However, polyurethane and wax finishes don’t allow the recoat to be very easy, and many complexities are involved.

In such a situation, bonding agents are a useful method to recoat and restore hardwood floors without sanding them.

Sanding can remove the existing finish; even if it is not as worn-out, sanding will remove it and waste a lot of money and effort spent on coating that layer.

If you don’t want to remove the existing finish by sanding, bonding agents are the best option you will have, as they will add another coat without the removal of the previous one.

The process is quite simple; all you need to do is get a chemical bonding agent suitable for the finish you have on your hardwood floors.

This agent will allow the new coat to bond with the existing one so it does not peel off after some time, gives a reasonable level of strength, and fills up the scratches completely.

If you had added a coat without a bonding agent, the coat would have crusted on top of the existing one, resulting in a disoriented and separated layer.

Such a layer can get peeled off or grinded easily as it has no proper support underneath.

Hence, apply the bonding agent on the floor and then apply your finish on top of it. Once the bonding agent has worked its charm, the new coat will stick to the old one just as a double-sided tape and provide additional protection to the hardwood floors.

This process is highly suitable if the hardwood floors have a partially worn-out finish.

In this case, you don’t need to perform sanding or abrasion on the varnish, as there is still a substance that will protect your floors.

Hence, adding another coat is the most practical idea to ensure that the floors are given optimum protection.

Besides, simply applying another layer of finish would not do the same job as it does not guarantee the same level of adhesion, and you might have to remove both layers after some time.

Without proper adhesion, the newer layer might start to move when pressure is placed and hence would not be able to provide any significant resistance to wear and tear factors.

In addition, such an unsupported finish layer is also prone to cracks and breaking if the problem is not solved on time.

But using a bonding agent can help you eliminate such problems by fixing your scratched floors without sanding.

Use A Stain On Your Wooden Floors

Wood stain is an integral part of fixing scratched floors as it has become an industry norm to get the wood stained before every finishing process.

However, staining has many benefits:

  • It can give your hardwood floors a lighter or darker color.
  • It can hide minor dents and scratches to make the surface appear spotless and smooth.
  • Stains lock in moisture in the wood’s surface to keep it moist and healthy (1).
  • Using a stain on your wooden floors can protect the wooden surface from the inside.

However, when your main purpose is to fix the scratches on the hardwood floors, it is necessary to identify whether your hardwood floors need staining and what type should be applied.

Different wood types call for different types of stain, which can fill the scratches, and the color can hide any other imperfections.

Use A Stain On Your Wooden Floors
Use A Stain On Your Wooden Floors

For instance, In cases where unique hardwood is installed in the house, such as mahogany, maple, cherry, and walnut, such woods should not be stained with a colored stain as they are exotic types of wood that should not be colored against their original appearance.

Besides, such woods are already dark in color or have a unique texture; hence, trying to use darker colors to hide their original appearance is unsuitable.

However, if you still want to use them, here’s the full guide on darkening hardwood floors.

Moreover, the real purpose of staining wood is to imitate the appearance of these wood types.

Therefore, it is unsuitable for staining such wood types with colored stains.

It would be best if you used clear stains or gel stains for these types of wood, which can simply fill in the scratches and dents and do not give any color to the surface or grain of the wood.

On the other hand, colored stains or darker stains can be easily used if you have more common hardwood floorings installed in your house.

For instance, white or red oak is one of the best receivers of stain as they absorb it very well and give you the desired look almost immediately.

Such woods can be stained with almost any color you want as they are light in color themselves and allow for excellent absorption, which leads to a better appearance.

Hence, using colored stains to hide and fill up the scratches is highly suitable in these scenarios. These woods can be stained without hesitation and regardless of the chosen color.

However, if you still need clarification about the type of wood and the recommended stain, you can contact the manufacturer and tell them what you want to achieve.

They can better guide you upon the right type of stain for your hardwood species to remove scratches without sanding.

Related: Does Engineered Wood Flooring Scratch Easily? (Revealed)


Hardwood floors can be scratched extensively depending upon your usage. However, this can be fixed as the damage is reversible if taken care of on time.

By using the methods mentioned above, you can easily fix the scratches and bring the hardwood floors back to their old shine and appearance.

These methods are cheap, easy, and work wonders so make sure to try them out if you also want to fix your scratched hardwood floors.

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