I have a dresser that was my grandmother's; it is over 80 years old and made of real wood. It had a large heavy TV sitting on top of it for years now. I can't open any of the drawers. So what can I do without damaging the dresser? Thank you for any help.
By Robbie from Douglasville, GA
It may sound like a hassle, but the first thing to do is empty out each drawer. Then turn it upside down and run an old/new candle across the bottom 'rungs' of the drawer. You may have to do this a couple of times but try inserting the drawer and pulling it in and out in order to build up the wax on both the bottom of the dresser and where it comes in contact with the drawer. It should work after only one or two applications of the wax on the drawer bottom(s). I've had to do this with some older dressers and it works like a charm. Good luck. If it has a center support (as mine do), also run the wax through that so it glides easier too.
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Three drawers in my dresser are stuck; the bottom two open fine. This is not a very sturdy dresser, and it may topple if more than one drawer is open at a time; as a precaution it was made so only one drawer can be opened at a time. Any ideas on why the top three drawers are stuck? (It probably isn't damp, this being Phoenix, AZ.)
Gloria from Phoenix, AZ
Try taking an old candle and rubbing along the sides of the drawer. It helps it to slide more easily. (12/05/2006)
Try removing the drawers that you can and feel above them to see if you can feel anything jammed in the runners. Clothes can get into the little spaces between the drawers and make it hard for them to open.
They also could be off their track which would make them hard to remove. Just keep removing the drawers as you can. When all of the drawers are out, put candle wax or soap on the runners to help keep this from happening again.
I'm not sure what you mean by only one drawer is able to be open at a time but there may be a mechanism that makes that happen.
Susan from ThriftyFun (12/05/2006)
Hi Gloria, I had a dresser once that was not very sturdy being made out of some particle board material. I had problems opening drawers because the dresser wasn't level. Get a level and put it on the top of your dresser and if it isn't level stick something under it and level it up. I used folded paper, but even some of those sticky felt circles that you can get from the hardware might be enough to help. (12/05/2006)
If it's an older piece of furniture, try the candle method - of waxing the treads. Unfortunately some newer furniture is made very cheaply - we had some particle board dressers with uneven threads for the drawers - which we couldn't manage to fix & finally just tossed! Check the treads for the runners - sometimes they are just plastic - which breaks - if you know someone handy maybe they can make new treads for you - (12/05/2006)
I am looking for tips on how to unstick dresser drawers. I have four drawers stuck in my little wooden dresser. How do I open them without damaging anything? What can I use to keep this from from happening again? They probably got damp and are tightly closed now.
Mary from Independence, KS
You can also use paraffin wax, which also works great for stuck clothing zippers. (09/25/2008)
I know I've had some drawers stick because of a dampness in the house, and then some stuck because the runner for the bottom of the drawer was chipped off a little. I have been able to fix the chipped off part, it is usually in the bottom of the drawer area. Glue it back on. Then you can take an old candle, or paraffin wax, and rub the runners really good on the bottom of the drawer. This really helps.
The wax also helps with dampness sticking. And a little tip, if one drawer is sticking, go ahead and wax all the runners to all of your drawers in that room, and prevent future problems. I've done that and avoided future problems. Plus I think the wax may help with getting dampness in the wood. Good luck. (09/27/2008)
If the drawers are made of particle board or chipboard and that is one of the friction surfaces, expansion and sticky drawers are almost inevitable. It happened to me and my first inclination was to dump the thing. However, I spent a lot of time fitting plastic strips on the drawer friction edges, top and bottom. I had to sand off a fair bit of particle board to make room for the plastic, and now they work fine. Was it worth it? Only just. (12/28/2008)
A bar of soap works just as well as wax, doesn't stain the clothes in the drawer below the runner, and keeps the bugs away. (01/15/2009)