How to make wooden drawers slide better

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to make wooden drawers slide better
Wooden drawers stick when the wood expands (drawer handles image by jovica antoski from

Wooden drawers have a tendency to stick, which can make them difficult to open and close. This is due to the expansion and contraction of the wood as the drawer ages. High temperatures during the warmer months can cause expansion, as can increased. Luckily, there is a very simple way to make wooden drawers slide in and out more easily.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Heat gun
  • Candle

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  1. 1

    Grasp the sides of each wooden drawer and pull them out of the furniture piece. Most wooden drawers will pull straight out, but some must be lifted up at a slight angle to remove them.

  2. 2

    Plug the cord of a heat gun into an electrical socket and turn the heat setting to medium. Turn the heat gun on and position it inside the furniture piece 6 inches away from the uppermost drawer slide. Move the hot air over the drawer slides for approximately 60 seconds.

  3. 3

    Turn off the heat gun and set it aside. Pick up a candle and rub the candle over the drawer slide with firm pressure. The candle will begin to melt slightly as you do this. Continue rubbing the wax onto the drawer slide until you have covered the entire slide with a thin coat of wax.

  4. 4

    Repeat the process to coat all remaining drawer slides with wax.

  5. 5

    Reinsert each wooden drawer back into the proper location.

Tips and warnings

  • Over time, the wax on the drawer slides will wear off and you should repeat the process.
  • You can also use beeswax instead of candle wax.

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