How to Make Old Wood Drawers Slide More Easily {A Five Minute Fix}

It's been a while since I've shared a Five Minute Friday post, but this is a good one. If you've ever had the experience of wood drawers sticking and not sliding smoothly in an old piece of furniture, then you need to read on. 

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A couple of months ago, my mom mentioned to me an easy way to fix sticking wood drawers. I don't own any furniture that her tip was applicable to, but as it often happens, just about a week later, I was helping a client organize her office. She loved her newly organized drawers, but they were hard to open, making them far less practical. 

I had filed my mom's tip away in the back of my mind, I decided to give it a try to see if I could make the drawers slide more easily.

My mom recommended that paraffin wax - the kind used for canning {and manicures, ladies} - would help these wood drawers slide more smoothly, so I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Or at least I thought it would be a quick trip - but the first two stores were sold out... I finally found it at store number 3, but next time I'll save time and buy it online.

I started by removing the drawers from the dresser...

Then I used a bar of the paraffin wax and rubbed it onto all on each surface of the drawer that touches the inside of the chest, including the sides, bottom, and the top edges. I applied firm pressure to ensure that I was applying a layer of wax to each of these surfaces.

I repeated this process doing the same on the inside of the chest - applying a layer of wax to all on the interior surfaces that touch the drawers as they slide in and out.

After applying paraffin wax to all of the drawer surfaces that could stick, I placed the drawers back in the chest to test them out. For most of the drawers, the wax did the trick and they slid much more smoothly than before. 

One of the drawers slid more easily, but was still sticking. After a closer inspection, it was clear that this drawer had warped over the years, and its shape just no longer fit into the opening quite right. For this drawer, the fix required actually sanding down portions of the drawer and then applying another layer of wax to make it slide nicely. But for many of the drawers, the wax alone was all that was needed.

wood drawer sticking slide easily


  1. Amazing! Her office looks great! I would love a peak inside those drawers! ;)

    1. For sure! I'll share a post about the drawer organization very soon!