A common problem with drawers is that they start to stick and become very difficult to pull out. Fixing a sticky drawer first requires that you discover the cause of the problem. Once you have figured out what is causing the drawer to stick, then you can get to work repairing it. The job of repairing a sticky drawer can range from the very simple to the slightly complex.
Take a good look at the furnishing in which the drawer is set. Look for signs that the furnishing is off-center. Fixing the problem of a drawer that sticks may be as simple as re-positioning the bureau or dresser in which the drawer fits. A cabinet or chest of drawers often gets knocked out of position from misuse or it could be a case of the floor starting to sag on one side. This re-positioning can have the effect of making the drawer lopsided so that it gets stuck in the track on one side.
Take out the drawer and replace it with another drawer from the same furnishing. Swapping out drawers that are giving you problems can often be the solution to the problem.
Pull the drawer completely out of its slot and use a flashlight to peer inside. Look for any object that might be obstructing smooth operation of the drawer. This could be anything from a nail that has come loose to an object that has fallen over the back end of the drawer and gotten lodged. Remove any object causing the obstruction and hammer a nail back into place or secure a loose screw.
Sand the runners of a wooden drawer and then follow that up by rubbing the runners with beeswax. Use a dry rag to wipe the runners for a metal drawer and follow up by lubricating them with oil.
Inspect the corners of the drawer very closely. The corners of the drawer could become worn or loose and this could cause the drawer to stick when you try to pull it out. Check the sides of the drawer to make sure that one or the other has not come loose. If this is the problem, glue the sides back into place and hold the sides together using a clamp until the glue has dried.
Sand the side of a drawer that is giving you a particular problem with sticking. Keep in mind that sanding down the side of a drawer is a permanent solution that cannot be undone so be very careful that you don’t sand it down too much and run the risk of the drawer fitting too loosely.