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How to Get Burn Marks Out of Hardwood Floors

Even with the best care, sooner or later, you'll find some damage on your hardwood floors. Whether the problem is burn marks from cigarette ashes, water damage or a ding from a dropped pot or pan, wood putty and shellac sticks can hide almost any small imperfection. If you know what type of finish was applied to the floor, you may even find that the manufacturer has specific suggestions for repairing minor damage. If not, a few tips can help erase unsightly burn marks on your hardwood floors.


Embers from a fireplace or cigarette can easily burn wood floors.
  1. Scrape off thin layers of burned wood with a razor blade until the burned area is gone and undamaged wood remains. Try to keep the surface as level as possible and avoid making deep gouges in the wood.
  2. Dip a cotton swab in turpentine and wipe the wood to remove any small bits of charred debris. Sand the area with fine sandpaper until it is smooth. Wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove any dust. Allow it to air dry.
  3. Apply a dime-size amount of wood putty to a paint scraper. Push the wood putty into the hole with the paint scraper until the hole is filled. Scrape off any excess wood putty so the area is level with the surrounding floor.
  4. Allow the wood putty to cure overnight, or as directed on the package. Sand off any rough edges with sandpaper. Coat the area with a thin coating of polyurethane.

Things You Will Need

  • Fine sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Polyurethane
  • Paintbrush
  • Razor blade
  • Turpentine
  • Cotton swab
  • Wood putty
  • Paint scraper

Tips

  • For minor burns, rub the area lightly with fine sandpaper, then wipe with a clean cloth to remove all debris. Brush a thin layer of polyurethane over the surface with a paintbrush and allow it to dry for 24 hours before walking on it.
  • Buy wood putty that matches the shade of your hardwood flooring.

About the Author

Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images