Repairing scratches in hardwood floors requires using a method appropriate for the depth and width of the scratch, but small scratches are easily repaired by applying acrylic floor polish or wax over the surface. Use caution with these types of finishes as they eventually dull the shine of the floor and require removal by labor-intensive scrubbing, using products such as mineral spirits or ammonia.
A second option for minor scratches is use of a commercially prepared product the manufacturer specifically designs for scratches, such as Bona’s Hardwood Floor Refresher or Minwax’s Hardwood Floor Reviver. The manufacturer formulates these products for application over the existing surface without sanding. Thoroughly clean the floors before application, and provide drying time according to the label directions. Reapply the product every few months for best results.
For scratches that penetrate the finish to the wood, use a stain marker or pencil that matches the adjacent surfaces to blend the scratch and make it less noticeable. Regular wood stain is another option. Apply it with a cotton swab or brush, and use a clean rag to wipe away the excess.
Address deep gouges in wood floors with colored wood filler. Select the color to match the floor, fill the gouge and sand the surface once the filler dries. Coat the repair with varnish to protect the surface.