Filling small blemishes in wood floor

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Q: Hi, I have a two part question about my hardwood floor. We recently had my 4 yr old’s birthday party and had a felt pad came off a chair leg. There are a few minor dings as well as nicks from toys and one bigger blemish. Would using wood filler be the best way to fill the smaller pea sized tor dents? There are only a handful. The larger blemish seems to be from the chair leg being dragged. It is about 3 inches long and maybe 1/8 inch or so wide and just deep enough to feel it with your finger slightly. What’s the best way to touch that up (I don’t have any replacement boards)?

The second part of my question would be, seeing as how we have a 4 yr old and can likely expect a few more nicks and gouges, would a refinish down the road fix these marks anyway? Particularly the chair drag mark? Appreciate your time.. this is a great site!

A: Small blemishes can be filled with a color match filler such as Color-Rite which comes in hundreds of colors in a tube. Your second part really captured what I was thinking as I read your email. Yes, you will no doubt get other marks along the way and yes, future sanding will eliminate them. I compare it to a new car. You never want to get that first ding and are so frustrated when it occurs. But we know it will happen sooner or later. At least with your floors, they aren’t a piece of furniture. They are meant to be walked on. Given that the marks are minor, they will become unimportant not too far in the future.

Follow-up Q: Thanks! I had one other question if you don’t mind. I have what I believe is white line syndrome. I know the likely cause as I spilled a mop bucket on a part of the floor when carrying through the room in January. We managed to dry up the spill very quickly and ran the fan for a few days over the area. The wood is finally dried out and has shrunk a bit. Can fixing this issue wait until I do a full refinish?

A: The finish is peeling or de-laminating near the board edges. I wouldn’t bother going to any effort with the dings if you also have this issue. Leave it for when you are ready to have the floors sanded.

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