Tired of tugging and pulling on a dresser drawer to get it to open, or worse, the drawer remains open all the time with the contents spilling out? Choose one of these simple DIY repair ideas and stop the drawer from sticking so it will open and close easily.
Stop a Drawer From Sticking with a Bar of Soap
When wood get warm or damp, it swells, the swollen wood is often the culprit behind the sticking drawer. When the swelling is minor, a bar of soap will stop the drawer from sticking.
Remove the drawer and it’s contents and set the drawer on a stable work surface. Take a bar of soap (a candle will work too) and run the bar of soap along the drawer glide or gliders on each side and bottom of the drawer. Also rub the bar of soap along the edges of the drawer’s bottom and sides.
Replace the drawer, then open and close it several times to work the bar soap lubricant into all the nooks and crannies and the problem of the sticking drawer should be solved.
DIY Repair for a Solid Wood Drawer that Sticks
If the drawer is solid wood and the sticking is more than a minor problem, try this DIY repair. Start by removing the contents from the drawer, then slide the drawer in and out (as much as possible) to determine where the ‘stick’ is occurring. If the sticking spot can not be determined that way, take the drawer completely out and look for friction marks on the wood on the side or bottom of the drawer.
Once the sticky spot has been determined, place the drawer on a stable work surface. Use fine grain sandpaper to sand the sticky spot smooth (sand lightly and only until a small amount of sand dust has been created). Replace the drawer, opening and closing it several times to see if it’s no longer catching. If the drawer still sticks or snags, remove the drawer and sand the spot a little more until the drawer glides freely.
If moisture is a problem in the room, the drawer may begin to stick again in the future unless the moisture issue is addressed. To prevent future drawer sticks caused by wood swelling, seal the drawer (after sanding) with a coat of polyurethane. Apply a thin coat of polyurethane to the inside and outside of the drawer (not on the front of the drawer) to keep the moisture out.