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How to make wooden drawer slides work easier

Updated February 21, 2017

Remove, sand smooth and reinstall wooden drawers to make them slide more smoothly. Wooden drawer slides may start to stick and become difficult to pull over time. Moisture in the air can cause swelling and warping in the wood, misaligning the drawer with its track. Resurfacing the drawer guides with sandpaper will remove the obstructing material so they will fit back into the slides much easier. Use this quick fix will make an old dresser drawer work like new in just a few minutes.

Empty the contents of the sticking wooden drawer and remove it from the dresser.

Run your fingers gently along the guides on both sides of the drawer to feel for rough patches and loose splinters.

Pull off any loose pieces of wood before using sandpaper on a flat wood block to smooth out all the rough areas.

Reach inside the dresser and again use a finger to search the slides for rough spots or broken wood.

Sand down any areas that are not smooth and use a damp cloth to remove wood particles and dust.

Wipe the drawer guides with a damp cloth to remove all the wood dust from the surface. Allow all the wood parts to dry completely before moving on.

Rub a candle or bar of soap to coat both the wooden drawer guides and slides. This will lubricate the slide action and seal out moisture that may cause future damage.

Slide the wooden drawer back into the slides and pull it back and forth to gauge the improvement.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood block
  • Candle or bar of soap
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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.