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How To Repair Damaged Spots On A Wood Floor

September 28, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links

When we moved into this house, we knew it was a fixer.

To be honest though, we were thrilled about it.

2 Quick and Easy Ways To Repair Your Wood Floor

We were used to DIYing and a home in need of some love gave us the chance to use our skills and make the place our own.

Best of both worlds.

The biggest project involved the addition of a new kitchen space. The one the house came with was super tiny and less than functional for a growing family.

Of course, like any renovation, there were tons of design decisions to be made.

And some of them made my head spin.

However, the one thing I was sure of, from the get go, was that the new room would have a wood floor.

I adore wood. We have a wooden countertop in the bathroom and I would've put them in the kitchen too...if I had my way.

Our old home had linoleum stick tiles, which were great for our purposes at the time, inexpensive and easy to install.

But in this home, our dream home, I wanted wood.

Farmhouse Kitchen Table Turned Island with red accents and wooden floor

Dark, rich, shiny, traditional, warm, wood.

I remember the day it went in. Prefinished Bruce hardwood oak planks. Simple, elegant and lovely.

A real show stopper.

Cottage Style Kitchen With Round Table and Wooden Island

And it's remained that way for the last 20 years.

Naturally, there have been bumps and bruises along the way, a dropped can or broken bowl, but in my mind those dents and dings just added character.

However.

Recently, I've noticed areas, underneath the hand towel bar on our DIY island and near the sink, where the finish had worn away.

The wood was exposed from water drops and the floor appeared damaged and, well, ugly. Left like this, the exposed areas were only going to expand, making the damage worse.

Red Kitchen Dish Towel

That would not do.

This is bad, it has to be fixed.

Damaged Wood Floor

I told my husband over and over again.

You have to refinish the floors.

No. The whole floor looks great. I'm not refinishing it for one small area.

Besides the fact that with my lungs, the dust and chemicals involved in that process was a definite no go. 

There had to be a quick and easy fix like I used on my wooden tables.

I mean, I figured if we could repair our laminate countertops, surely we could fix the floor.

Well, after a bit of time with our thinking caps on we came up with not one, but two. 

And I couldn't be happier with the results.

Two Ways To Repair A Damaged or Scratched Wood Floor


Before we started, we vacuumed the floor and then we washed it with warm water and let it dry completely. If there were any loose pieces of finish we gently removed them.

I have to say that both ways worked equally well. We used a combination of both and you cannot tell the difference.

Repaired Wood Floor

1. Repairing The Floor With Stain


Our first remedy involved stain. This exact stain

The most difficult part of this task was finding a stain that would match our floor. Luckily since most wood floors have some variation in the tone, it didn't need to be a perfect match.

Once we had our color, we got started.

We used a water based stain and very strategically applied it with q-tips to the chipped areas, where the wood was exposed.

Walnut Stain Wood Stain on floor with a cup and q tips

We made sure to really soak the area with the stain, and then we wiped away any of the excess with a dry paper towel. 

Using A q-tip to apply stain to a wooden floor chip

If the color wasn't dark enough we repeated the process and let the spot dry fully before adding a polyurethane topper. (See instructions below)

Using Wood Stain To Fix Wood Floor with a q-tip application

Simple enough right? 

Well, our second option was even simpler. 

2. Repairing The Floor With A Furniture Marker


Honestly, this way was my favorite. I've actually suggested these markers before.

The prep was the same, but the process was quicker. Just like coloring...no kidding.

This pack of markers is very similar. I like the packs since you have lots of choices.

You can also purchase them individually if you know in advance what color will work best.

Furniture Repair Marker in hand

I literally colored in the spaces where the wood was exposed and then wiped away any extra with a dry paper towel.

Fixing A Damaged Wood Floor With A Furniture Marker

I felt like I had a little more control with this one. However the results were the same and the drying time was cut in half.

We were able to add the polyurethane much sooner.

Adding Polyurethane To Seal The Floor


Regardless of which method you decide to use, you'll want to add a coat of polyurethane to seal the color, the wood and add a layer of protection.

It was the erosion of the original sealer that allowed the water damage in the first place, so this step is crucial for a long term fix.

We chose a water based version in a satin finish to match the one already on the wood floor.

It was virtually odorless and cleaned up with soap and water.

Water Based Polyurethane


We used a very small bristled brush - one that came with my paint by numbers sets, since it was made for small details - and we coated the areas we'd just stained.

Brushing On Polyurethane

And then we let it dry.

When we were done, we had the most gorgeous floor. Again.

Wood Floor Repaired

It was a very worthwhile way to spend a Saturday morning.

No dust, no mess, no big expense.

Just a few minutes staining and coloring and another few to add the top coat.

And it doesn't get any easier than that!

Do you have a wooden floor that needs a repair? 

  1. Genius girl and what a savings to not have to pick out the planks and put new in. Like you said no mess, dust or long time to work on them. Have a great week. xoxo Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! Yes, much easier!! We considered pulling up the planks, but then we had to dig out the boxes of leftovers, rip up the old ones, cut in the new ones, etc. Not quick or easy. This was super simple. I hope you have a great week, too!! xo

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  2. It looks beautiful, Kim. You make is sound so easy and it turned out great. Our dining room floor is the original fir in the house and we refinished quite some time ago. When we had Buddy it was hard on the floor and now there are big damaged pieces. We will have to refinish it but we mixed our own stain and now can't remember how we mixed it, so it should be a fun experiment when we get to it. I just love your kitchen..Happy Fall.xxoJudy

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    1. Oh no, Judy, we've done that! The red wall in kitchen is a color we "mixed" ourselves. The first one was too much of a brown red, the second was too Elvis and the third one was just right...but who knows what that combination was exactly is a mystery!! I hope you don't have to deal with your floors anytime soon!! Happy Fall...xxoo

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  3. Good job! I need to do this. Also my husband dropped something heavy on my wood floor and it took a quarter size chunk out. I have to figure out how to patch that as well.

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    1. Oh no! That's no good! I think you could probably use a bit of wood filler to patch it, sand it down and then stain over it. If you really need to, you could pop the plank out and replace it with a new one. That's not easy, but it's guaranteed to give you a perfect fix. Good luck!!

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  4. Wow - that is amazing! We don't have real wood, although I love it. However, my daughter does and they can't afford to have the whole thing done right now. I'll share this with her. Thank you!

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    1. I hope it helps her, Mari! I'm a big fan of spot fixes.

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  5. This is amazing! We have hardwood floors in our kitchen and family room, too. I haven't noticed any worn spots yet, but this is getting pinned for future reference!

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    1. Thanks Amy! It was totally perfect until last March...then everyone started washing nonstop and, well...water. It looks much better now.

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    1. Thanks so much. I’m much happier with this view, that’s for sure.

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  7. I love those furniture markers! I have even used them on a laminate floor that was scratched...the same day it was put in....(sad face) but it worked!!

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    1. Oh no!! Scratched the same day? That's terrible...but glad the markers worked! They're my new favorite fix-it-all. I'm constantly covering scratches on our tables and vanities...it's addictive!

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  8. I didn't know about this product. Telling RH about it for the rooms that still have the old wood floors. Yours turned out beautifully! There truly is nothing more beautiful than plank wood floors. I'm so glad you didn't have to refinish the whole floor!

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    1. Thanks Dewena! Works great, truly. And really inexpensive. I hope it helps on your floors.

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  9. I have dark engineered hard woods put in my kitchen and dining room in 2013. They have really held up very well. The installer left me with a small can of dark stain that I've used over the years to touch up my floors where it needs it. It usually when I drop something heavy like a can of food that leaves a mark on the floor. I would buy engineered hardwoods again, but not this dark hickory because dark floors show every crumb. I probably would also consider those luxury vinyl plank flooring as well. The original wood floor I had installed in just my kitchen showed signs of stress just like your floor and water did a number on it in front of the sink. The Engineered Hardwood is holding up so much better than the old wood floor did.

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    1. I love a dark floor and originally had my heart set on a walnut, but like you said, everything shows, so I went with this midtoned wood. It's gorgeous and has lasted for almost two decades without a flaw...until now. Glad we were able to fix it with the markers, but I love that you were given stain. I wish we were, too.

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    1. Thanks Deanna! It looks so much better now.

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  11. Thanks for this because we do have areas of our flooring that look like yours, where the dogs make sharp turns to run outside to chase squirrels! ;P

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    1. I hope it helps, Ricki! I couldn't stand looking at those marks just one minute more...

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  12. This is fantastic, Kim! I think we all want to find quick and easy ways of maintaining our home, and your wood floor "repair" certainly fills the bill. Well done, my friend! Your floor is gorgeous! Hugs.

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    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! I just couldn’t look at those worn spots anymore. They made the whole room look dingy…well, in my mind anyway! Hugs!

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  13. Awesome! You rock, Kim! (and hubby!) Looks great! Thanks for the tips!

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  14. Genius, redoing hardwood floors is messy not to mention the smell. It's horrible.

    Great job Pinned to my home improvement board

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    1. Too messy and too smelly for this girl. Happy this solution was so successful. I hope you never need it, but thanks for the pin!

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  15. Great tips.. just what I need. Our home is 90% "old" wood floors, and there are some places that could use a touch up. Thank You, your tips come at the best times.

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    1. Your home sounds just dreamy..."old" is my favorite decorating word.

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  16. You and your hubby did a great job with repairing and fixing up the areas of the worn wood floor. I like the idea of using the markers to touch up the wood. Thanks for sharing the process with us Kim.

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    1. Thanks Julie! It was an easy way to make a really big difference. Thanks for the visit!!

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  17. I love those stain markers and have them in every color for wood furniture repairs. Never in a million years would I have though to use them on our hardwood floors. We also have Bruce hardwood so I'll remember this for any worn areas. Thanks for the awesome tip!

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    1. I love them, too, Marie. They've worked wonderfully for me on my tables, too. This was a bonus.

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  18. I use thos furniture markers on my antique furniture. They work great. Laura

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    1. They really do, Laura. Just a quick swipe and the mess is all gone!!

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  19. Genious you two!! I am ordering a set of these for my antique reproduction furniture that was built by my Dad!! Thank you for the tip!!!! Blessings, J

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    1. Oh J, I'm so glad that you found this trick to be relevant and helpful. You'll have to let me know how they work for you. Blessings my friend.

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  20. We are in the process of putting in Bruce hardwood oak floors from Home Depot right now. I chuckled when I read you insisted on hardwood floors.... because I literally insisted on them in our new cottage. We have never had them before as the expense was always a factor but I told my husband now that I'm fifty it's time...and this is the house for them. I am glad to see your Bruce floors have held up so well. Once again thanks for keeping it real!!!

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    1. We love them, Dena!! LOVE. They've held up so well, I have no complaints. The entire floor is literally perfect except for those few spots and that happened over the last year when everyone was home and washing incessantly. I see nothing but beauty in your future. Enjoy!!

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