How To Repair A Wooden Door That's Covered In Pet Scratches

There's nothing quite as joyful as having a house pet, and it's not uncommon for homeowners to consider their pets a part of the family. Still, the pros don't always outweigh the cons — house pets are prone to scratching up the walls and doors, causing significant damage to the paint job and potentially wrecking your home's value. Wooden doors, one of the more popular household materials chosen for their durability, are especially susceptible to getting covered in pet scratches. Thankfully, they're also relatively easy to repair using a few ingredients that pet owners should live by: A sanding block, wood filler, and some wood stain.

Pets damage doors for several reasons, and if you know why, you may be able to keep your house safe from pet scratches in the future. Factors like boredom, anxiety, and stress can all encourage your pet to relieve their feelings by scuffing up a delicate surface. Rather than punishing them for their actions, you may consider taking your pet on a walk, engaging in playtime, offering treats for good behavior, and showing dismay for bad behavior. While these are preventative steps, you can still repair that wooden door that's already covered in pet scratches.

Start by sanding the surface

You'll want to start by lightly sanding the wooden surface. A fine sanding block will help even out the wood and sand down any surface-level scratches. Once you've completed sanding, use a rag or tack cloth to wipe the surface and ensure there are no protruding grains. Sanding will also help you remove any dust that may be lingering.

Use wood filler and a putty knife

Wood filler is a substance that allows homeowners to fill in any imperfections on wooden surfaces. Using a putty knife, mix the wood filler onto the scratched wood and smooth it over until the surface is even. Once the wood filler has dried, you may use sandpaper to complete the look by sanding off any excess filler. Finish off by reaching for the tack cloth and wiping the surface.

Finish off with wood staining

By now, your wooden door should appear fairly clean. However, the final step is crucial — using a paint stain, paint over the scratched surface. Some home improvement experts recommend using gel stains, especially if you're not sure which paint stain will match your wooden door. Dip a rag in paint thinner, apply a small amount of gel stain to the rag, and dab the mixture onto a dry brush. Test the stain on your wooden door before wiping it away to ensure that the mixture sticks. You may choose to add a few coats before allowing the surface to dry, but ensure your pets are barred from approaching the wooden door you've worked hard to repair.