How to Make Dresser Drawers Slide Better

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Things You'll Need

  • Thin wooden shim or scrap wood

  • Wood saw

  • Small nails or wood screws

  • Wood filler

  • Fine grit sandpaper

  • Tea light, paraffin block or used taper candle

  • Pliers


The wax treatment works in other places, too. Both windows and doors, lightly rubbed with a candle, operate more smoothly. Just don't get wax on the glass pane. Drawers slide better when furniture is level and the drawers are not overly full.

Old dresser with uneven drawer stops

It can be frustrating to have to daily tug and jimmy to get into your dresser drawer. Vulnerable to changes in humidity, wear and tear, and misalignment, wooden dresser drawers require occasional upkeep. Simple procedures will take the aggravation out from drawer pulling.

Step 1

One side pulls out farther than the other

Examine the offending drawer. Does it pull out too far or slide in past the front of your dresser? Fix front and back stops. By looking at other drawers, determine how the limits of the drawer's pull were designed. Chances are a piece has fallen out. Cut and install a replacement piece.

Step 2

Inset wood track and unseen slider

Inspect the slides on the drawer and dresser frame. Use wood filler to repair any gouge that obstructs drawer motion. Sand protrusions smooth.

Step 3

Rub with wax any place where drawer and dresser frame move against each other. A tea light, slice of paraffin, new taper or leftover candle is all you need. Use white or clear wax if it will show, and any color if the area will remain hidden.

Step 4

Metal tracks and rollers

Remove the faulty drawer. Be sure it has all parts, and that they are tightly secured to the drawer and dresser frame.

Step 5

Side view of roller assembly and rollers

Ascertain that the metal track on the dresser frame is tightly screwed in place and is straight. Affix the track, if necessary. Using pliers, straighten the track as best you can. If track is very damaged, buy and install a new one. Hardware stores carry drawer parts.

Step 6

Head-on view of tracks

See whether the rollers are round. If not, replace them.

Step 7

Rub the tracks and rollers with wax.


Lani Johnson

Lani Johnson is a hiking, writing musician. Recent published work includes journalism, poetry and research. See her online writing at or at