How To Hand Scrape Wood Flooring


What type of scraper/tools are used when hand scraping? I am having a hard time achieving the proper look. The sample I’m trying to duplicate has a very smooth flowing look to it.

The end result of my work looks very rough.It doesnt have that running water look. Any advice or direction on where I could get some help would be appreciated.


Dear Rich

You can either use the normal paint scrapers with the replaceable blades. They are easy to sharpen with a 10″ mill bastard file. I personally use the w-14 model made by Richard at If you sharpen these with a slight rounding of the corners you can get a very smooth scrape. It will still need a hand sanding, screening or vibrator machine sanding after.

But if you want to learn how to sharpen a cabinet scraper, you should be able to achieve a smooth surface right away, no sanding. I’ve just bought one made by Lee Valley tools especially made for doing floors. It’s patterned after a version made almost 90 years ago. You can see it and order it at It’s prod. #05K21.01. But you have to order also a file, a file holder, and burnishing tool. And possibly an extra blade.

I spent about $100 CDN on all this, but you will also have to learn to sharpen such a tool. Either read the chapter on this matter in the book Understanding Wood Finishing, which can be found in the search box at the top of this web page. Or go to Lee Valley Tools again and check out his books and videos on sharpening. It’s going to take me a while to sharpen these scrapers perfectly, but the results so far have been really encouraging.