Get Dents Out of Finished Hardwood Floors
LESLIE: Okey-dokes. Next up is David from Oregon who listens to The Money Pit on KBNP and tell us what’s going on with your floor.
DAVID: Well, I had a workman work on a high area near the ceiling and he dropped a bunch of his tools on our hardwood floor and …
TOM: A bunch, huh? (chuckling)
DAVID: … and left some dents in it …
DAVID: … and I was wondering if there is a way that I could get the dents out without having to refinish the entire floor again …
DAVID: … or replacing the floor, actually.
LESLIE: Is it on one board or many boards?
DAVID: It’s on several boards, actually.
DAVID: Maybe four or five.
TOM: Well, the problem is that the floor is now finished, David. If it was unfinished, I could give you a little trick of the trade for pulling out a dent. So if any of you are listening and wondering how you do that, you simple use a steam iron and you put a damp cloth over it and then you, basically, steam it because the steam will make the wood swell and that will take out a small dent. But if it’s already finished, you can’t do that because it’s just going to mess up the finish even further.
So, what are your options that are left? Well, there are different types of wood fillers that are available. Some that are colored would work very well. And if the dent is small – I would say, probably, less than a quarter of an inch – one of the favorite ones I have are the Minwax filler pencils. They are like wax pencils and …
LESLIE: It’s like a crayon.
TOM: Yeah, almost like a crayon or like one of those old freezer pencils where you peel the paper back. And you can …
LESLIE: China pencils. China markers.
TOM: Is that what you call it? China pencil. OK, so you can peel the paper back and you can buy one that if – you can’t get one that matches it exactly, you buy one that’s lighter and one that’s darker and then take a lighter and melt – light the tip a little bit so you sort of drip the wax into the crevice that’s the dent. You can mix both colors in there and then sort of take your hand and rub it really fast and the excess will rub off and the rest of it will stay in place. And I’ve done this and been able to fill up quarter-inch holes quite successfully.
So, that’s one way to do it. If it’s a scratch, then, of course, you could use something like an Old English or just a stain kit to touch that up and then follow up with a polyurethane using a very, very thin paintbrush; like the kind you would use in an art box. If it’s bigger than that, then you have to look at a colored wood filler and you’d have to press it in there and then, again, touch it up with a polyurethane. But it really depends on how deep these dents are, which method of those three that I would use to attack it. Does that make sense to you?
DAVID: Yes, it does. I had a question. The wax – would the wax melt, then (chuckle), or does it harden so that – is it a durable type of thing after you put the wax …?
TOM: It’s not as hard as the floor finish but you could put additional finish on top of that. It will, however, fill up that – you know, that size of a dent and it does a pretty good job and it is absolutely invisible. And listen, David, you’ve got nothing to lose because the worst thing that could happen is you may have to scrape that out and go with one of the other finishes if it doesn’t work out so well.
DAVID: Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, David. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.