Cat Scratch Fever Aka Disguising Pet Scratches in Hardwood Floors

$10
1 Hour
Easy
I love my cat. He's just awesome. But, bless his heart, if he gets spooked he takes off running. And when he does, my floors take the brunt of it. It's one of the things you have to deal with when you have dark floors. Heck, it's something you have to deal with if you have light floors. After years of trial and error I have finally figured out the best way to disguise the damage done by the cat.
Note 9/17: I've received lots messages/comments asking what all I tried. I tried pecan and walnut meat on the scratches. That just made my floor really slippery. :-) Same thing with Old English. I tried a stain pen in the same color as the floor. It stained the scratches, but they were still really visible. I tried the stained wax crayons. I don't know if it was the brand I used, but these gave the worst result. All it did was put a wax film on the floor and didn't fill in the scratches. I tried steel wool followed by stain as well as a fine sandpaper. That just made more scratches. My mom decided to use a black sharpie. It looked like my toddler had drawn all over the floor and it took me a week to get it off. I tried premixed filler but couldn't find a color that really matched. In hindsight, perhaps staining the filler ebony and then applying probably would work. I'm going to give it a try. I feel like there were other things I tried (because I tried A LOT of things) but these are the ones that come to mind.
Before/After
The floors before.
Go over the scratches with a stainable wood filler.
After a few minutes, wipe off the filler using a damp paper towel. A circular motion works best.
It will look much worse after the filler is wiped away because the filler fills in all the scratches you couldn't easily see before.
Using a foam brush, dap a stain one shade darker than your floor onto the scratches.
Drag the foam brush over the scratches.
After 5 minutes, wipe off the stain using a paper or cloth towel.
That's it! If you have deeper scratches, repeat the entire process again. The area I chose for this tutorial gets a lot of light and the scratches in this area are the most visible in the home. In the lower light areas, the scratches have virtually disappeared!
This is the view from above (as most people would see it). The photos I took were zoomed in so you could see details

The Rozy Home
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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Frequently asked questions

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  3 questions
  • Lois Lois on Mar 28, 2016
    Does this work on high gloss laminate floors?

  • Allen Gladstone Allen Gladstone on May 05, 2016
    Would something like this work to fix scratches or small pieces missing from wood veneer (over mdf) cabinets?

  • Brenda Downey Brenda Downey on Sep 20, 2020

    What about oak colour floors ?

    is there a natural stain that colour ?

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