Asked on Oct 15, 2020

Drawers that stick and are hard to open?

SandyKathy Gunter LawJohnavallance82


I have an old dresser that has drawers (without runners) that are hard to open. They stick and you have to jiggle one side then the other to get the draw open. Pushing them shut is a little easier but they stick there too. Any suggestions without investing a lot of money?

18 answers
  • Recreated Designs
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Hi Robin, unfortunately your drawers have probably warped a bit over time. They may have gotten a little wet or the entire piece shifted a little so that they don't fit as well. I have refinished a lot of furniture and when I have this problem, I pull the drawer out and use a piece of coloured chalk to mark up both the bottom edges of the drawer and the runners it slides in on. Then I push the drawer in and out a few times and then chalk will rub off where there is a problem. You can then sand down a bit of the wood where it is sticking and it should run smoother. It is a free solution but does take a little bit of elbow grease :) Alternatively, you can try rubbing a wax puck on bothe the drawer bottom and the runners to see if it will slide in any smoother. Hope one of those help!

  • Ginger Caviness
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Take a bar of soap or some paraffin wax and rub it on the bottom Runner

  • Vimarhonor
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Hello. Very often a little lubrication provided with a bar of soap run along the areas the drawer are supposed to glide can be helpful to help your drawers slide in and out as needed.

  • Redcatcec
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Bar of soap or candle wax, rub it on and keep the drawer moving until it moves freely.

  • Janice
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Running a bar of soap on the drawer edge that slides usually works well. If that doesn't work a light sanding might help and then the soap method again.

  • Morgan McBride
    on Oct 15, 2020

    You can rub bar soap on the slide to make it slide better

  • William
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Recreated Designs has the right idea. Look for any wear marks on the drawers showing where they are binding. Lightly sand the areas and test until they slide in and out easy. I have use white chalk on the drawers to look for rub marks and sanded those spots.

  • Jim
    on Oct 15, 2020

    I have heard a lot of people use a bar of soap and whatever the drawer slides on rub the soap of the drawer bottom or the area it slides on to make it glide easier without sticking.

  • Dee
    on Oct 15, 2020

    Rub a candle or soap on the inside of the drawers. That will make them slide better.

  • Suzie 50
    on Oct 16, 2020

    Dee has got it right. Candles work very well and don't `gum up' as soap sometimes does.

  • Betsy
    on Oct 16, 2020

    Hi Robin: What you can do is to take the drawers out, put chalk on the bottoms where it slides in and out, slide them in and out and look to see where the chalk is removed and then sand that area down. Repeat until they slide pretty easily and then use a candle and wax the whole area. Good luck

  • Johnavallance82
    on Oct 16, 2020


    You could rub them down a bit on the edges or maybe try a little spray polish or wax on the edges to help them glide easier. Best wishes.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Oct 16, 2020

    Rub with bar soap or beeswax. That should help to make them move more easily. You might also consider slightly sanding. They may have expanded over time due to exposure to moisture, even humidity. Is issue worse in more humid weather? If so, consider a dehumidifier.

  • Sandy
    on Oct 16, 2020


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