There is nothing more deflating than bringing home your new antique dresser and having one of the drawers require a four horse team to pull it open. If this has happened to you we have a few suggestions that will help you get into that sweater drawer without straining a muscle.
First we must determine how the drawer is sliding. On antique furniture the drawers should be on wooden runners which is to say that the bottom of the sides of the drawers slide directly on the wood frame of the chest. If your piece has metal slides or runners then this article won’t be very helpful.
Techniques for lubricating antique dresser drawers
- Wax – One of the easiest and least expensive ways to lubricate a drawer is to use wax. Various forms should all work and do not have any negative side effects when used. The various forms would include furniture paste wax, specially formulated drawer lubricates, and even regular candle wax. They would be rubbed into the wood underneath the drawer and on the wooden runners that go from the front to the back inside the case.
- Soap – If you are looking for a really quick fix rubbing bar soap on wooden runners can also have the same effect as other lubricates, but doesn’t last as long.
- Sanding – Perhaps you’ve had an antique dresser in your house for many years that the drawers all of a sudden started sticking? Many times wood furniture will shrink and swell with changes in humidity. This can leave both the drawers and the runners larger than they were originally. A permanent solution is to take the drawer out and carefully sand the bottom of the left and right sides, periodically putting it back in and checking how it slides.
With these simple ideas you should be able to remedy most tough drawer situations. Let us know if you’ve used any other successful techniques!