A few months after I finished updating the Miss Matched yellow dresser for my bedroom, I noticed that the drawers didn’t slide as easily as they once had. Old wooden drawers have the tendency to stick and drag, so I didn’t worry too much about it. My “I’ll get to that one day” attitude about it didn’t help the problem, and four years later I was growing more annoyed by the day over having to twist and jerk the dresser drawers every time I wanted a pair of socks.
Earlier this week, I woke up and decided that today was the day to fix the sticky drawers. I looked into retrofitting the drawers with slides from Home Depot. I researched adding metal strips to the bottom of the drawers so that they would slide more freely. I was irritated that I was going to have to spend money to fix the problem. Then, I remember one of the oldest tricks in the DIY handbook – candle wax.
I took a cheap tea light out of its metal lining and rubbed it onto the bottom of the drawer were it comes into contact with the dresser frame. If you don’t have any tea lights or old candles, paraffin wax (if you are a canner) or a bar of soap (if you bathe) will also serve the same purpose. Hopefully, you participate in at least one of those two activities.
Then, I rubbed the candle on the dresser frame. I made sure to lightly coat each surface that touched the dresser drawer.
Within seconds, my dresser was sliding freely with no hint of the irritating sticking. The drawers now work better than they have in all the years that I’ve owned this piece of old furniture. Once they feel like they are sticking again, I’ll just do this little wax application to them again.
Three cheers for a few seconds and cheap tea light candles (I bought at package of 100 for $3 at Ikea about 10 years ago – I have about 88 left)!
Have you ever used wax or soap to fix sticky drawers in old furniture? Any other tips or tricks? Please share them in the comments section!
“(if you bathe)” HAHAHA
Lindsay Ballard says
Ha! Glad you caught that. 🙂
How long until you have to do this process again ?
Okay…I have an 1800’s dresser and it smelled bad. The antique store sold me a cleaner and sealer and told me to use on inside bottom and back of dresser. I followed instructions letting each application dry between steps. The drawers worked fine before this process. However after they would hardly open. I had to use a rubber mallet to get them open. I then lightly sanded down all areas. Still stuck!! I used wax paper…that helped a bit but not much. Then I used beeswax candle …nope. Then I used wax paper and went over beeswax to smooth surface. The drawers now open but with some aggressive tugging…ugh. I’m at my wits end. I love the dresser, it has the Knapp corners…please help…what to do now??