How to Handscrape Wood Floors On-Site

If you want to elevate your offerings and create an upsell to give your customers something truly custom and unique, wood floors that are handscraped on-site are one excellent way to do that. They offer a distressed, rustic look that is exceedingly popular. Although you do have the option of purchasing wood floors that are already handscraped, scraping on-site will produce a completely unique look for your clients. 

You’ll create Instagram-worthy wood floors by handscraping on-site. Here’s a quick overview of the process: 

How to handscrape wood floors

How to handscrape a wood floor

Step 1: Start by scraping the floor with the grain––never scrape across the grain. When the scraping becomes difficult or the blade slides across the floor rather than scraping it, it’s likely time to sharpen or change the blade. Make sure to have multiple replacement blades on hand.  

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Step 2: When the scraping process is finished, you can then go over the floor with a small handheld random orbit sander to smooth out certain areas or remove stuck-on finish if you’re handscraping a pre-existing floor. 

Step 3: Sand and finish the floor as normal.

That’s it! The process is simple but when done correctly, it will yield outstanding results. It’s a good idea to get some practice in on scrap wood before trying it out on a jobsite. Try out different techniques with the scraper and sample a variety of finishes to see what works best.

Products for handscraping a wood floor

One product we recommend for this process is the Norton handscraper and sharpening kit. It comes with an easy to use sharpening kit to keep you moving along on the job. The blades are even sharp enough to cut through aluminum oxide finish! Check out our video where we put this tool to use. 

If you’d like to offer a unique distressed look without doing the labor of scraping the floor by hand, an alternative option is is wire-brushing the floor. We offer a Bona wire brush attachment for buffers that makes this process extremely easy and less labor-intensive than handscraping. Watch our video where we demo this product. 

Gather some scrap wood and try it out! If you have any questions about how to handscrape a wood floor or any of the products mentioned here, contact us at (800) 737-1786 or email

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