How to Restore Drawer Runners

Updated February 21, 2017

Furniture repair can consume a lot of time and cost money for most homeowners who don’t have repair experience. Drawer runners consist of assemblies of metal or wood mounted on both sides of a drawer housing. Wooden drawer runners overhang to fit into a groove carved on either side of the drawer. Basic drawer runner restorations can be done easily with these tips. If you restore drawer runners yourself, you can save money in labour costs.

Inspect the guide and drawer runners for wear and tear. Also, check to see if the wood is split. A worn-out runner should be renovated and reused. Split wood should be replaced.

Take off the nails and the old runner using a hammer. Retune a worn runner by gluing the runner on the drawer case while the worn side is facing down. Clamps should be used to hold the runner in place while the glue is drying.

Screw or nail the runner into its proper place. When using screws, make sure that the old nail holes are slightly smaller than the screws. Two or three No. 8 or No. 10 screws should be used per each runner. Screw heads should not be bigger than the runner.

Widen the top of the hole to make sure that the nail head is level with the surface of the runner. This will lock it into place. When the drawer opens and closes, the nails will not interfere with the drawer operation.

Adding a new piece of hardwood to the runner is another option to repair the drawer runner. Form a rectangular strip beside the edge of the drawer. A new piece of wood should be glued there to assemble the runner to its initial size. The drawer should operate smoothly and evenly again.


When wood dust is found toward the drawer’s bottom, the drawer needs to be repaired to operate correctly.

Things You'll Need

  • Nails
  • Screws (No. 8 or 10)
  • Hammer
  • Hardwood
  • Glue for wood
  • Clamps
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About the Author

Tzvi Raphael has worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them to maximize their online brand exposure through innovative Web design, content, and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for multiple high-traffic blogs and websites including eHow and Weight Ladder.