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I currently have a hardwood floor that is worn down by an office chair and it needs to be fixed, optimally without having to do the whole floor with a floor sander.

As you can see in this photo:

look at the top right area

the area to the top right is worn, in some places down to the wood. This is a close-up photo of the center:

center of floor

It's 80% bare wood with little stain.

(on a side note, if you have an office chair on a hardwood floor, you should probably get a floor covering of some sort)

My objective is not necessarily to fix it perfectly, but to get it to look good enough to satisfy the landlord when we leave. I was planning on: buying a very light stain and applying it via light spray to the central area, repeating until the color was uniform with the rest of the floor, and then coating with some semi-gloss.

Is this a feasible solution for my problem? Any ideas or suggestions?

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Before you apply any stain, try dampening the area with mineral spirits (which will evaporate off fairly quickly, unlike water). That will give you some idea of what color the wood will be if you just apply a clear varnish over it. Also remember that oil-based finishes will tend to add some yellow to the hue (as will shellac). It's possible that you don't actually need to do anything more than giving it a light scuff-sanding and a new coat or three of whatever's already there.

Remember to do something to keep the chair from wearing thru again too quickly... felt pads on the chair legs, an area rug or chair mat, non-marring wheels...

  • I was thinking of airbrushing a very low concentration alcohol based stain. Is that a bad idea? I'm unsure of what exactly there right now. Would it be safe to just spray the whole area very lightly, very gradually? Would this react badly in the case what's underneath is oil based? The problem is the damage is in a gradient from raw wood to glossy so i'd like to just put stain where it's needed with a feathered edge. If I put stain on the whole area, wouldn't that make the exposed yet still stained wood darker -- and not just the center where it's needed? – Michael Crawford Aug 6 '15 at 14:57
  • As I said, you may need no stain at all; the "dampening" and smoothing by the topcoat may be enough to give you a color match. If the test suggests it won't, consider stain... but your photos seem to suggest you won't need it. – keshlam Aug 6 '15 at 17:47
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You can sand the floor, and re-finish it. Again have a chair mat which ensures that your floors are protected from the scuffs and scratches that chairs will make as they slide around. You can get one here.

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