How to Repair Dog Scratches on Your Floor or Furniture

Wood floors and furniture are beautiful. They’re also highly prone to scratches—from shoes, from general wear and tear, and of course, from your dog’s nails.

Follow the steps below to save yourself the cost of refinishing and get your wood floors and furniture looking good as new.

For shallow scratches

What you’ll need:

  • Clean rag
  • Hardwood cleaner
  • Stain-filled wood marker or other type of pigmented wood polish
  • Shellac or polyurethane (if wood is glossy)
  • Brush for applying shellac or polyurethane
  1. Clean the area
    Apply a small amount of hardwood cleaner directly to your rag and clean the area in and around the scratch. It’s important to remove all dirt and debris so that you provide a smooth surface for your stain to adhere to.
  2. Apply stain to scratch
    Apply a stain-filled wood marker or another type of pigmented wood polish of your choice (in the color of the wood you’re fixing, of course) to the scratch. Follow the directions on the specific product you’re using to ensure that you apply it correctly and allow it the right amount of time to set. If you’re using a marker, you’ll apply the product directly to the scratch. If you’re using a pigmented wood polish, use another rag to apply.In most cases, you won’t need more than one coat of stain to cover up a small scratch. Just be sure to let it dry completely before determining if you need to apply another coat, since the color may change slightly as it sets. Note that it’s better to start light and layer than to go to heavy-handed with your first coat.
  3. Apply a finish
    If your floors or furniture are glossy, add a layer of shellac or polyurethane over the stain to match the finish.

For deep scratches

What you’ll need:

  • Clean rag
  • Hardwood cleaner
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain (and another rag)
  • Shellac or polyurethane (if wood is glossy)
  • Brush for applying shellac or polyurethane
  1. Clean the area
    Just as you would for shallow scratches, create a clean surface for repair by cleaning the area with your rag and hardwood cleaner.
  2. Fill the scratch
    Using wood filler and a putty knife, fill in the scratch. Check the directions on the wood filler for the cure time (i.e. the time it will take the product to set), which is usually about one hour.
  3. Sand
    Once the wood filler has cured, gently sand the area to remove any access on top of or around where the scratch was.
  4. Apply wood stain
    Using another clean rag, apply wood stain to the filled scratch in the color that best matches your floor or furniture. You could also paint the stain on with a wood marker. Let set.
  5. Apply a finish
    If necessary, brush on a coat of shellac or polyurethane.

DIY fixes for scratches on wood

If you prefer to go the DIY route, there are a couple of creative ways that you can tackle dog scratches on your wood floors or furniture (at least the shallow ones).

  1. Olive oil and vinegar
    This recipe has you mix ¾ cup of olive oil with ¼ cup of vinegar to create a natural wood filler for scratches. Mix the solution together and apply to scratches with a clean rag for a quick fix.
  2. Lemon juice and oil
    Mix together equal parts fresh lemon juice and oil—canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil would all work. Apply to the scratch with a microfiber cloth, being sure to wipe in the direction of the wood grain.
  3. Nuts
    So it might sound a little nutty, but shelled walnuts, pecans, almonds, and Brazil nuts have all been heralded as good DIY options for repairing small scratches. Simply rub the nut over the scratch and let the natural oils fill in the dent. Because of their texture, walnuts are usually the preferred nut to use here.
  4. Black tea
    Heat up three tablespoons of water and steep a bag of black tea in there for two to three minutes, or until the water turns a nice rich color. Dip a cotton swab in the tea and apply to the scratch, being sure to wipe away excess with a rag or paper towel. Allow to dry. The more layers you apply the darker the color will get, so continue applying until you reach your desired shade.

How to repair dog scratches on leather furniture

We’ve been focusing on wood, but your leather furniture is equally prone to dog scratches. If you have a leather chair or couch and a four-legged friend who is allowed to snooze there, chances are high that you’ve got some scratches to take care of. Here’s how to do it.

What you’ll need:

  • Clean rag
  • Leather-recoloring balm
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Leather oil
  1. Apply recoloring balm
    Take your clean rag and apply a thin layer of leather-recoloring balm in the shade that best matches your furniture.
  2. Wipe away excess balm
    Wipe away any excess balm using a microfiber cloth. A chamois cloth would work as well.
  3. Apply leather oil
    Condition the repaired area by applying leather oil. You can buy it in a spray bottle, or apply it with a clean rag.

And there you have it. Note that if you use any chemical-based cleaners and/or stains when repairing scratches in wood or leather you’ll want to keep your dog away from the product completely until it’s set. Keep the windows open too, to disperse any chemical odors. It’s a good opportunity to go play fetch in the backyard (or head to the groomer for that much-needed nail trim).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *