Damaged Floor Finish

I recently finished my pine floors with a dark stain and oil based semi-gloss Polyurethane. I used four coats of the urethane, and scuff sanded with steel wool between each coat. The finish is now around four weeks old, and the final result turned out beautifully.
I now have a problem that I'm not sure how to solve, however. My wife was recently cleaning and she scrubbed some shoe marks with the abrasive nylon side of a 3M kitchen sponge. Apparently she didn't know just how course those sponges can be because she left very noticeable dull circular scratch marks in the gloss finish. As fate would have it, the marks are in the middle of the highest traffic areas.
My question is, short of recoating the entire floor, what can I do about that? Is there a mild paste abrasive such as soft scrub, car wax, or brasso that will remove the scratching without staining? Do you think 1000 grit auto-body wet sand paper would help? I'm very crestfallen whenever I see my dulled floor, and would appreciate any advise you can provide.
Thanks in advance, -Tom
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I had a similiar situation with a grandchild on her mothers cherry floor. I went to a auto parts store and bought some body compound. It was red and in a tube. Cost about $ 18.00 It was in a past like consistence - I rubbed it in then wiped it off and buffed it and it cleared it about 95%. If you know where to look and look hard you can still see what looks like a smudge mark My suggestion would be to take a scrap piece of wood put you finish on it and try to duplicate the floor. Then rub it with the abrashive pad and then try the compound. If it works then try the floor. Good Luck!

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You could...
1. Wipe on a thin coat of poly on the affected area
2. Rub it out with auto rubbing compound (or any very fine abrasive such as rotten stone). Finest (AFAIK) are those for polishing plastics (also at auto parts store).
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll stop at an auto-body store today. I'll let you know how it comes out.
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Okay, I Googled "buff plastic scratch" and found an auto detailing forum that discussed scratches on motorcycle helmet visors. Someone there recommended "Novus plastic polish." It comes in three different grades, and the price was right.
http://spoilers4less.com/spoilers4less/novus-plastic-polish-order.html
I figure this may or may not work on my floor, but it should be helpful on my fiber glass tub, car instrument panel, 30-some odd pairs of clouded and unusable safety glasses, scratched NetFlix DVDs, microwave door, router sight window, etc. I'm starting to wonder how I made it this far in life without it.
It'll be nice if it works on polyurethane as well.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

It will but it would be easier to just wipe on a thin "shine" coat of poly.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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When I was applying the finish, I had intended to do three coats. The reason I did four is because on the third, I had this idea that thinning the urethane with spirits would be a good idea -- sort of a spit-shine lacquer coat. I figured it would level nicely and avoid air bubbles. When I applied it, the finish became very dull; almost a satin. It didn't look bad, but it wasn't what I was after. I decided to steel wool it one more time and put on a full body coat. This restored it to the full semi gloss.
If I put on a thinned coat over the scuffs, then not only will the shine be different, I'll also have feather edges to contend with. No matter how careful I am, I don't think I'll ever be able to fully feather out the strokes. Urethane just doesn't handle like paint. I think that either buffing the marks or recoating the full length of the affected boards are my only options here.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, *thin* not *thinned*. Clean rag dampened but not wet with poly, wipe over the area. You put it on so thin that there are no edges. Rub it on moderately hard in a circular motion. Like French polishing. Might have to do it more than once depending on the surface condition. You could always try on a scrap.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Oh, (D'oh!) I didn't realize urethat could be applied in this manner.
I'll try buffing first and this second. Buffing has the advantage that I don't have to wait for it to dry.
Thanks, dadiOH.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd use 0000 steel wool. It usually results in a finish between semi-gloss and satin. If the scratches are deep, you might want to start with a courser steel wool and work up to the 0000.
If you are still not happy (or the scratches are really deep), take some of the poly and thin it down about with about 2 parts mineral spirits. Then for the final coat, dampen the steel wool with the mix and rub it out. You don't want to get the wool so wet that the poly puddles on the floor. You want it just wet enough to lay a very thin coat into and over the scratches.
The result should be pretty good. (i.e. only you will notice).
-- Doug
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