Removing Old Plaster From Hardwood Floors



In the process of moving a heavy dresser (placed on a furniture blanket), “drag” marks were left on the floor. I am unsure if the marks are compression marks, as they don’t appear to be scratches. If they are compression marks, what is the best method for repairing them? I heard that using a hot iron was one method of re-raising the grain. Would that work?


Dear Matt

This is especially difficult repair to do. And after you hear what it takes to remedy the situation, you might well sand and refinish the whole floor. instead. Or leave it all alone.

You will have to remove the finish first. You can do this by sanding the dented area, or applying a chemical stripper to expose the bare wood. Then apply a wet corner of a white clean rag to the spot, just as you apply the hot tip of a clothes iron. Use distilled water so you don’t cause a mineral stain if your water has iron in it. This should puff the wood back to the surface. You should let this dry overnight, and then fine sand and attempt a touch up.

You can also try drops of rubbing alcohol and the tip of a hot new clean soldering iron. Rubbing alcohol contains enough water to puff out the dent (on bare wood) without damaging the finish next to it too much.

But now you have to touch up the finish, and most likely re-coat the entire floor. You will need to know your floor finish. they may have use a sealer as the first coat. Most floor finishes, and especially poly will not blend in well, and you will have to re-coat the whole floor, and even then it will not perfect. I know, because I have to do such repairs for insurance companies, and even I have a hard time making the repair invisible.

If you are unsure of what your floor finish is please read the second half or the cleaning article in the Floored News, it has a simple finish identifier guide.

But it can be done. Sand well between all coats, and allow each coat to dry 1-2 days. I’m talking about the touch-up coats. Once the area is filled in with at least 2-3 coats of finish, let this cure for about a week, and sand level, with 120 grit sandpaper, then re-coat the whole floor.

You might consider puffing out the dent, and having the whole floor re-sanded, instead. It’s called hardwood, but it’s still wood, be careful with heavy objects.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.