How to make wood drawers slide easier – Easy tips and recommendations

Stuck drawers can quickly spoil our mood, but this defect is easy to fix on our own.

Who hasn’t been annoyed by wood drawers that you had to fiddle with for a long time before opening them, and all in vain?

It’s a particularly common issue with old furniture.

Let’s see how we can make the wooden drawer slide easier.

How to make wood drawers slide easier - Easy tips and recommendations

How to make wood drawers slide easier?

Wood wear on the sides of the drawer indicates that the wood has moved in this area. You can, of course, open the drawer with force further, but it is better to eliminate this defect immediately to make wood drawers slide easier.

Step 1

First, you need to try to sand the sticking area.

Step 2

If after grinding, wood drawers continue to get stuck, you need to use a planer. Plane in the direction from the front to the back.

Step 3

Finally, brush the edges with soap or paraffin wax to reduce friction and let the drawers slide easier.

Tips to make wood drawers slide easier

Wax paper

It is paper saturated with paraffin wax. It’s worth getting ready right away that this method of simple waxing is quite labor-intensive and time-consuming, because you need to wipe the entire drawer with wax paper.

The sliding motion will push the wax to the unexposed surfaces, making them easily slide back and forth.

Or you can straight up use paraffin wax instead of wax paper.


Sometimes the problem is that the size of the drawer has increased slightly, for example, swelling from moisture. Lubrication won’t help here. Therefore, use medium grit sandpaper to reduce surface volumes. Sanding can be a good solution if you try your best to not expose the furniture to moisture.


Soap the wood with an unscented bar. Take the most ordinary unscented soap bar (without moisturizing additives and oils) and rub the sides of the wooden drawers, as well as the guides along which they move. This tool works very well in most cases.

However, in kitchens and bathrooms where moisture is not uncommon, soap will only help for a short time. This method is very good for processing doors and windows throughout the house. You can make drawers slide easily with this technique.

Rub the soap all over the edges and surfaces of the drawer that touches the chest.

Candle wax

Candle candlesticks and even tea candles will do a good job of making wood drawers slide easier. Just use the stick the same way as you would with paraffin wax or soap to rub it all over the problem zone of the cabinet.

If you have chosen a tea candle, make sure in advance that its smell will not attract insects. A white candle can also be used because it does not leave visible stains on furniture surfaces.

Self-adhesive nylon tape

For a long-term solution to sticky drawers, simply cover the problem areas of inside surfaces and where the wooden drawer touches other furniture with tape.

It is necessary to remove all the dirt and unnecessary things so that the tape sticks well, and also empty the drawer completely. Treat with sandpaper and glue tape. Such adhesive tape will serve as a kind of lubricant for furniture friction zones, reducing friction. Drawers will slide nicely and this will get you a more permanent solution. This tape can be purchased at many hardware stores and maybe even at your local grocery store.

Remove previous grease and dirt so that the tape sticks well.


You can also use sewing machine oil to lubricate the drawers, but periodically wash with acetone or solvent, remove the old grease, then apply new grease to the clean surface of the guides.

It is also necessary to check the correctness and quality of the assembly of cabinets, often with poor assembly, the guides do not work well. It is better to invite the master so that he aligns everything well.

If all else fails, then it is better to change the rollers. Also, the guides do not work well with a huge load. Do not store too heavy kitchen utensils in drawers. It is better for such utensils to find another place in the kitchen.

How to make wood drawers slide easier - Easy tips and recommendations

Additional Tips

You will probably need to grease the drawer every two years. Try to keep them as clean as possible between lubes to make things easier for yourself.

If none of the suggested methods work for you, use a not-too-rough sandpaper to grind down the corners of the jammed drawer. In the process, you can even accurately identify the problem area. Of course, this method is not applicable to painted wood, unless you want to repaint a drawer.

If you don’t mind painting your drawer a little, there is another way. Take a simple pencil (not automatic) and draw with it the place where the drawer jams. This works best for minor problems, as the graphite only serves as a lubricant and does not function as sandpaper.

Maybe it’s leftover glue?

Be clean and remove any traces of soap from previous lubrication before each new lubrication. If this is not done, soap residue will accumulate dirt and dust.

How do you lubricate wood drawer slides?

  1. Pull out the drawer. Carefully drag it towards you along the ball guides. Raise slightly as you go. Firstly, empty the drawer completely.
  2. Wipe the grease area with a damp cloth. Wipe the rollers and dry them. They must be clean and dry.
  3. Apply wax, paraffin wax or any other lubricant to the rollers. If using a spray, bring it as close as possible. In short sprays, cover the entire area of the drawer that you want to lubricate.
  4. Wipe off excess lubricant.
  5. Insert the drawer back onto the rollers. Slowly slide a couple of times back and forth to allow the lubricant to spread evenly.
How to make wood drawers slide easier - Easy tips and recommendations

If you like crafting, you can see how easy it is to make convenient shelves in the attic, basement, garage, and also in the kitchen.


How do you fix sticky wooden drawers?

It is necessary to identify the cause and consistently get rid of it. If the friction zone is just rough and capricious then you can use a lubricant, be it wax, paraffin wax, soap, wax paper tape or any other wood coating.

If the fact is that the box is swollen with moisture, then you can carefully treat the wood’s surface with sandpaper and then lubricate it.

What is the best lubricant for drawer slides?

Silicon spray – environmentally safe product, does not have a sharp smell. Reliable protection against moisture, corrosion, temperature changes.

Withstands temperatures from -75F to 450F. It ensures perfect sliding motion of treated surfaces, prevents freezing, facilitates installation and disassembly, protects against aging and cracking.

It is applied to metal, plastic, rubber, wood, glass, vinyl, provides long-term protection, and does not wash off with water. Can be used for external and internal works, and is a perfect answer to how to make wood drawers slide easier.

You can always use wax paper, paraffin wax, wood coating, candle wax, white candle etc. All these methods will help you make wood drawers slide easier.

How to make wood drawers slide easier - Easy tips and recommendations


It’s not that hard to fix stuck wood drawers to make them slide smoothly. If you are afraid of damaging the furniture, you can always invite a specialist who will do everything in the best possible way, especially if it’s completely stuck. We’ve answered the question of How do you make a drawer slide easier? in many details.

We hope that the next time you encounter this problem, our tips on how to make wood drawers slide easier will help you.

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