How to Fix Sticky Wood Drawers

Written by Jessica Mitchel

I've been flipping furniture for profit for over eight months. I like to share all of the tips, tricks, and learning lessons along the way.

January 26, 2023

Sticky drawers can be very frustrating. I recently flipped a dresser that had a lot of trouble with sticky drawers. Here are some of the things I did to get the drawers sliding nicely.

First things first, you’ll want to make sure the drawers are in the correct location. Sometimes drawers will fit perfectly in its designated spot. To help prevent any risk of drawer issues, number the drawers in a hidden spot so you can place them back in the exact spot you took them from.

But if it’s too late and you’ve already taken the drawers out, you might need to play musical drawers to figure out where they fit best. This is not fun, but the drawers just might not ever fit right if you don’t find their designated spot.

The next thing you should try is cleaning the slides. Depending on how old the furniture piece is, there might be a lot of dirt built up that’s preventing the drawers from sliding properly.

If you’re still having trouble, try putting some wax on the sides. I used a mineral wax paste on the slides to help them glide better. However, they still weren’t quite right.

The other thing I did was lightly sand the slides. I was working with wooden slides and over time the wood can warp and expand. I used 220 grit sand paper and just slightly sanded down the sides. I didn’t want to be too abrasive with the sanding as I worried too much sanding could make the drawers loose.

The drawers fit a lot better after sanding, but I did go back over them with wax to help get a nicer glide on the drawer.

If you’re having trouble with your drawers sticking, give these options a try!

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