Have you ever grabbed a handle to pull a drawer open, and it did open, but only after you repeatedly yanked and tugged? Drawers are, of course, made to effortlessly slide open and shut. And when they don’t, it’s enough to make you scream. Read this instructive article and learn how to easily fix sticky drawers that don’t open or shut right!
Common Problems With Wooden Drawers
Wooden drawers will give you the most problems because they’re porous and are sensitive to humidity. When the humidity level is high, wood can swell up. To easily fix sticky drawers that don’t open or shut right every now and then, you’ll need to wait until the humidity goes down and the wood isn’t swollen. Then, apply a coating of clear polyurethane to the inside and outside of the drawers. You’ll also need to paint the inside of the cabinet as well. By moisture proofing the porous wood, it won’t draw moisture anymore and swell up.
Sticky Drawer Runners
Sometimes, your wooden drawers can become harder to open or close because the runners on each side of the bottom get dirty or sticky. To end this problem quickly, remove the affected drawers and flip them over on a work surface. Dampen an old cloth and wipe the runners clean. Also, reach inside and wipe the
inside of the cabinet, where the drawers slide, clean.
Then, rub a bar of Ivory soap or paraffin over the wooden runners. Replace the drawers and they should now slide in and out easily.
If your drawers aren’t swollen or the runners aren’t dirty, the problem may lie in the fact that the drawers have come apart or there’s a wooden splinter blocking the sliding action. To easily fix sticky drawers that don’t open or shut right, either remove the splinter or put the drawer back together again. The latter may involve regluing the pieces of the drawer and clamping them until the wood glue dries completely. Or, it may involve putting a new nail or two into the drawers to hold them together. Some newer drawers are screwed together. Once fasteners that are holding the drawers together comes out, it can distort the shape of the drawers and make them difficult to open and close.
When wooden drawers run on plastic or metal slides, these pieces can also wear out or become bent out of shape. To fix this problem, repair or replace the slides. You can also oil the wheels or any moving parts on the slides to help the drawers move easier.
Common Problems With Metal Drawers
Metal drawers are more durable than their wooden counterparts. They’re less likely to come apart. The two most common problem with metal drawers not wanting to open or close smoothly is their runners becoming dirty or sticky. To easily fix sticky metal drawers that don’t open or shut right, remove the drawers and flip them over on a work surface. Use an old cloth to clean the runners off on the bottoms of the drawers. Don’t forget to reach inside the cabinet and wipe off the places where the runners slide too.
Then, carefully spray WD-40 onto the runners. (Learn about The Many Wonders of WD-40 here.) You can also spray any moving parts that are inside the cabinet. Finally, replace the drawers. Your metal drawers should now slide back and forth easily.