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How to Get Wooden Drawers Unstuck

Updated February 21, 2017

The most common reason for a wooden drawer to get stuck is swelling of the wood. Once the wood of the drawer starts to swell, it's possible that it will become too large for the dresser or cabinet and become stuck inside. Sometimes, some powerful pulling and shifting may be enough to get the wooden drawer unstuck. However, if this doesn't do the trick, you might need to try a more innovative and effective technique.

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  1. Pull open the drawer as much as you possibly can. Just a few inches can help you get it unstuck.

  2. Connect a light bulb to an extension cord and place it inside the drawer.

  3. Place the light bulb inside a drawer that is above or below the stuck drawer if you were unable to get it open even a few inches.

  4. Plug the extension cord into an electrical socket to turn on the light bulb within the drawer. Leave it there for about 15 minutes. The heat it produces will relieve the swelling that caused the drawer to become stuck.

  5. Remove the light bulb and pull out the drawer. You may need to shake it rapidly from side to side to loosen it up.

  6. Tip

    Sand down the sides of the drawer with coarse sandpaper and spray it with silicone spray to prevent it from getting stuck again.

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Things You'll Need

  • Light bulb
  • Extension cord
  • Sandpaper
  • Silicone spray

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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