How to Remove Scratches on Bamboo Flooring

Lead Image
  • 48-72 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 70-120
What You'll Need
Floor cleaner made for bamboo surfaces
Wax crayons
Wood stain pen
Wood filler
Liquid wood stain
Putty knife
Dry clean cloths
Sandpaper, various grains
Polyurethane floor finish
Large paintbrush

While durable and easy to care for, bamboo flooring can develop scratches like any other natural fiber used to cover floors. Scratches can trap dirt and dust, dulling the finish of your bamboo floor. Follow these tips to remove scratches from your bamboo flooring.

Step 1 - Remove Shallow Scratches

Wash the scratched floor area with a mild cleaner made for bamboo floor surfaces. Wipe the floor dry with a clean cloth. Sand the spot lightly with fine-grain sandpaper. Using a wood stain pen or a wax crayon close to the same color as the bamboo planking, color in the scratch. Wipe away any excess wax flakes, and cover the floor area with a light coat of polyurethane.

Step 2 - Prepare the Floor to Refinish Deep Scratches or Gouges

filling a crack in the floor

Buy wood filler that is as close to the natural surface color of the bamboo flooring as possible. If available, get a filler specially formulated for use on bamboo floors. Wash out the scratches and gouges thoroughly with warm water and mild cleaner safe for use on bamboo floors. Wipe the floor area dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.

Step 3 - Sand the Floor Area

Using a fine-grit sandpaper, sand out to the edges of the scratches and gouges. Avoid sanding over the edge of the plank to prevent damage to other parts of the floor.

Step 4 - Fill in the Gouges

Apply the wood filler into the gouges, using the putty knife. Fill in the deepest gouges first to ensure you have enough filler for all the scratched sections. Clean off the putty knife and level off the top of the gouge so it is smooth. Scrape off excess wood filler from nearby planks. Buff the filled area with a soft dry cloth to compress the fill in the gouge, and give it a smooth surface. Allow the filler to set for a few hours, then sand it with fine grit (500 or higher) sandpaper.

Step 5 - Fill the Shallower Scratches

Put a thin layer of filler on your putty knife and fill the less deep scratches near the large gouges. Wait for the wood filler to dry and firm up, then sand lightly.

Step 6 - Coat the Refinished Area with Wood Stain

bamboo flooring in an empty room

If the filling and sanding process has left your refinished area looking noticeably lighter-colored than adjacent planks, apply a light coat of wood stain to the area to match up the flooring color. Let the wood stain dry on the bamboo floor for 24 hours before sealing.

WARNING: Make sure the room is correctly ventilated before you apply wood stain.

Step 7 - Seal the Floor Area with Polyurethane

Once the wood filler and stain have dried completely, coat the refinished area with polyurethane sealant. The polyurethane is very tough and scuff-resistant, so it will greatly reduce future damage to your bamboo floor. Use a large paintbrush to apply a thin coat of sealant. Allow the first coat of polyurethane to dry overnight, then apply a second coat, which can be a bit thicker. Just like with the wood stain, remember to properly ventilate the work area before you start this step, and wear a face mask for extra protection.