How to Unstick Drawers

Nearly every homeowner has encountered this problem at least once in her life: a sticky, fussy drawer. A stuck drawer refers to a situation when a drawer won't open as a result of a buildup of grease, grime, dust, paint or varnish. This is most common with wooden, nonrolling drawers. A stuck drawer can try anyone's patience. However, if you're not careful and don't deal with the situation strategically, you could break your drawer or have all the contents of the drawer go flying across the room.

Opening a drawer should always be easy.
  1. Pull the drawer toward you as far as it will go when you pull it in a normal fashion. Place your hands firmly around the portion of the drawer that is protruding and bend your knees.

  2. Pull the drawer firmly out of its spot. You may hear creaking or rubbing sounds as you do this. You may have to remove utensils or other obstructions from out of the way with your hand as you pull out the drawer.

  3. Examine the two wooden bars that support the drawer and upon which the drawer glides. Remove any obvious obstructions, if you should happen to see any, such as part of a nail jutting out. Sand down the two bars with 150-grit sandpaper, followed by 220-grit sandpaper.

  4. Dampen a soft cloth with mineral spirits and wipe down the two bars, removing all the dust from sanding.

  5. Wipe down the bottom of the drawer with a damp cloth. Allow it to dry completely. Rub paraffin wax along the bottom edges and sides of the drawer. Rub paraffin wax along the two wooden bars upon which the drawer glides.

  6. Reinsert the drawer carefully. Pull and push it open and closed. It should be much easier to open and close. If it's not, then you need to add more wax.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."