Rub paraffin on wooden drawer glides at the top and bottom of the drawer to keep the drawer from getting stuck. Thoroughly coat all sliding surfaces with the paraffin so that the wood drawer opens effortlessly. If the glides are metal, apply a touch of metal lubricant every so often to keep the drawers from sticking. Locate paraffin wax at your local grocery store, superstore or hardware store in the home-canning section.
You can also coat the surfaces of the parts of a drawer and a dresser that fit together with:
- Candle wax
- Bar of soap
- Dry lubricant
Opening the Drawer
To open a stuck drawer, remove the drawers above and beneath it, so you can check for something jammed between the wood frame and the drawer.
- Remove the stuck item from between the drawer and the glide if you find it.
- If the drawer is cantered, push the side that is pulled out more than the other side until the drawer front is even.
- Lightly tug on the drawer handle with equal force to keep the drawer from pivoting and jamming again.
- Reach inside above or beneath the drawer, depending on the drawer that is stuck, and attempt closing or opening it from its back.
If that doesn't work, insert an old butter knife or a putty knife between the bottom or top of the drawer. Start at the front and run it along the drawer's length to the back, wiggling it a bit to unstick the drawer. Avoid damaging the wood by inserting the knife
at least 1 to 2 inches between the drawer and the chest. Repeat for the opposite side.
- Once you loosen the drawer, pull it out of its spot and set aside.You may have to work a cantered drawer out of its slot carefully if the wood has swelled or its joints have come apart at the back.
- Gently tug at one side and then the other to get enough of a purchase on the drawer to remove it.
Repair Loose-Jointed Drawers
Loose joints on drawers can also cause them to stick.
- To repair the joints, first remove the drawer.
- After you have the drawer out, remove the old fasteners and tap the joints with a hammer to loosen them.
- Remove the old and hardened glue with a chisel and hammer.
- Reapply glue to all the drawer joints except for the groove on the bottom of the drawer.
- Add new fasteners after reassembling the drawer. Let the glue dry completely before replacing the drawer in the chest or dresser.
A Long-Term Solution
To keep drawers sliding freely, you have to periodically apply a coating of paraffin wax, dry lubricant or soap. For a more long-term solution, follow this procedure:
- Apply nylon drawer tape to the parts of the drawer that slide against each other.
- Sand the areas where the drawer parts touch the chest parts with 100-grit sandpaper.
- Remove the sawdust from the area using the wand attachment on your vacuum.
- With the drawer out of its slot, cut a piece of tape long enough to fit on the glides inside the chest and on the bottom of the drawer.
- Peel away the backing material and lay the nylon tape in place.
- Reinsert the drawers.