How To Make Drawers Slide and Glide: Drawer Slide Hardware

Get Tips for Making the Drawers on Your Cabinetry Close Perfectly

Opened drawer

Have you ever gotten frustrated at a drawer that seemed to stick closed, leaving you yanking on the handle before it would budge? Did you know that there are a few simple things you can do to correct this problem with your cabinetry? Here's how to make these drawers easier to close, as well as a few facts on replacing drawer slides:

  1. Remove the drawer. Carefully work the drawer out. Especially if it is very stuck, do not pull too hard, because you can break the slide hardware or joints. Empty the drawer of its contents, and turn it over so that you can see the underside.
  2. Inspect the drawer. Once you have the drawer out, inspect it for damage that may be preventing it from sliding. If you have a wooden drawer with noticeable worn areas, lightly sand it with sand paper. If the joints appear to be loose, fix them using glue or nails. Loose joints can cause a drawer to lose its squareness; drawers that are not perfectly square have difficulty opening and closing. If any other pieces are clearly broken, replace them.
  3. Wax the drawer rail. Use paraffin wax, beeswax, or an ordinary bar of soap to wax the underside of the drawer, where it rubs against the rails. Brush off any excess. This simple step is the easiest way to make them glide smoothly because the wax helps reduce friction between the drawer and the rails.
  4. Try the drawer again. If it is still stuck, the drawer may be warped, or simply sized so that it will always stick. If this is the case, consider replacing worn-out drawer slides with the modern ball-bearing type, which roll much more smoothly.
  5. Replace the drawer slides. If you decide to replace the drawer slides on your cabinetry with a modern type, first measure the length of the drawer. Then visit any home improvement store and purchase drawer slides in the correct length. They should come with instructions for installation. You may want to replace all of the drawers in your particular piece of furniture at the same time to avoid having to repeat this task. Adjust the slides until it glides smoothly in and out. Drawers that don’t glide smoothly can be a pain to open and close. Don’t yank on them trying to get them open; fixing them so that they slide and glide smoothly is easy and requires just a few common household tools.


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