How to Repair Damage to Hardwood Floors
Interior hardwood floors can get damaged by sand and grit from shoes, animal claws, boxes that got slid across a floor instead of being carried, etc. You can sometimes get professional repair results with minimal effort.
If a scratch is not deep and you have decent hand-eye coordination, you can use small, fine artist brushes to add a thin coat of your clear finish on just the scratch. I've done this for years with great success. It's important that you match the gloss of your existing floor for this to work. If you're not sure, test clear finishes in an out-of-the-way area of the room.
Widespread areas of finish scratches will probably require a simple refresher coat of clear urethane over the floor. While you may think this is a job for a pro, believe it or not it's within the realm of the DIYr that possesses attention to detail.
All you need to do is clean the hardwood floor, sand it lightly with medium sandpaper using a standard drywall pole sander, and then recoat the floor with clear urethane. You apply the urethane by pouring it onto the floor and spread it evenly with a lambs wool applicator.
After you sand and before you recoat the floor, you need to get up all the dust. I prefer to use rags soaked with mineral spirits for this. Burn the rags after you do this to avoid a spontaneous fire hazard.
If you have deep scratches that go through the finish to the floor, these will have to be fixed by a pro. You don't have to refinish the entire floor and go through that hassle. Just call any fine furniture store in your area.
These stores have employees or independent contractors that carry a magical box that contains colored hard lacquers and an alcohol lamp. These magicians can fill the scratches and gouges and match the floor finish in no time. When you see what they can do, you'll simply not believe it.
Remember, if you want repair tips like this each week just subscribe to my funny and FREE AsktheBuilder.com newsletter!