How to Fix a Dresser Drawer Slide

How to Fix a Dresser Drawer Slide

Every home has a dresser drawer. Some are passed down as a family heirloom whereas some are fairly new. I happen to own a vintage-styled dresser drawer with a slide system.

Now you might be thinking what’s so special about it? Last week the under slide of the drawer came off and with that the drawer became inoperable.

It won’t close properly and would wobble in its place. Anyone not knowing would end up spending hundreds of bucks getting it fixed from a professional. However, I found a DIY solution that would help anyone fix their dresser drawer just like me. Interested to know more? Read along for the step-by-step process.

Guide to Fix a Dresser Drawer Slide

While doing research, I found that there isn’t a single type slide for a dresser drawer. Most of the vintage and modern drawers have one of two mechanisms – side mount slides and bottom mount slides.

Depending on your model, you should have one of these two. To make things easier, we will talk about the step-by-step fixing process for both of these drawers.

Type 1 – Side Mounted Slides

These are more vintage compared to the bottom-mounted slides. The mechanism works through mounting two side glides on the two sides of the drawer.

It creates an equal balance that holds the drawer firm in its position after closing. However, you need to be careful while opening and closing the drawer as it has chances of getting misaligned easily.

To get a side-mounted slide fixed get the following materials first.

Things You Need

  • Replacement glides
  • Screwdriver/ Drill machine
  • Matching Nuts
  • Measuring Tape
  • Super Glue

Step 1 – Take out the Drawer and Locate the Glides

Got all the materials that you needed?

Perfect. Now you’re ready to get started. First of all, you have to take out the drawer from the dresser and locate the existing glides inside the dresser.

There should be two glides on the two sides. In addition to that, there should be two rolling sliders on the two sides of the drawer.

 Step 2 – Remove the Glides from the Dresser and Drawer

The next step is to remove the existing glides. You might notice that only one glide might be faulty. But it’s better to get the entire set replaced.

That way, the dresser, and the drawer will be in perfect sync. Use a screwdriver or a drill machine to take out the nuts holding the glides in place.

Step 3 – Reattach the New Glides

It is important to get the exact same glide that you just took out of the dresser. There are about 12 different types of glides in the market and each of them serves a different purpose.

Make sure you get the model number right. Or better yet, take out the glides and take them to the hardware store to get replaced.

Once you have the replacement glides align them on the exact location of the previous glides. Use a measuring tape to get the correct precision. Once you get the glides in place use super glue to hold the glides in position. Do this for both the dresser and the drawer.

 Step 4 – Screw the Glides in Place

Once you use the super glue to secure the glides in place, you’re good to start screwing it down. Take the matching nuts, which are usually 16 mm ones. Use the screwdriver or the drill to secure the nuts in place.

Do this on the dresser first and then on the drawer.

 Step 5 – Check for the Fit

Slide the drawer back in the dresser. Roll it in and out a few times to check whether it closes properly or not. If you follow the steps properly, the drawer should start working like new.

Type 2 – Under Mounted Slides

The next type of slides is the under-mounted ones. This is a relatively new concept design compared to the side-mounted ones.

It allows dressers to look sleek and modern. But the process to repair and replace the slides on an under-mounted design is a bit tricky.

Things You Need

  • Replacement glides
  • Screwdriver/ Drill machine
  • Matching Nuts
  • Measuring Tape
  • Super Glue
  • Shim stocks

Step 1 – Locate and Remove the Glides

Once you pull out the drawer, the ball bearing glides become visible. These use the resistance friction technology to set against the under-mounted glide on the dresser.

Remove the glides from the dresser as well as the ball-bearing roller from under the drawer. Use the screwdriver to unhook them. Make sure to get the exact same glides from the hardware store.

Step 2 – Remove the Existing Shims

The shims are two wooden panels on which the glides are mounted inside the dresser. It is important to get the measurement of the shims right as it is used as the base that will determine the positioning of the drawer.

Use the measuring tape to get the exact measurement of the replacing shims.

Step 3 – Attach the shims

After removing the existing shims, it’s time to move on to the next step. And that is to replace the shims. Screw them down on the exact holes as they were before.

Step 4 – Attach the glides

Since the base glides will be attached to the new shims, there won’t be any pre-marking on them.

The easiest way is to superimpose the old shims on the new ones and drill a hole. Or conveniently, measure the drill holes and make marking accordingly.

After that attach the glides to the shims. Similarly, attach the sliding glides under the drawer.

Step 5 – Check for the Fit

The ball bearing slides requires a forced push on the first setup to get it fixed on the place for friction. After that pull in and out the drawer a few times to check for the fit.

If everything is done correctly, the drawer should work just like new.

Final Words

Dresser drawer slides do not easily break down. But you never know when the ominous day might come. The process of getting a dresser drawer is pretty simple and can be done at home.

All you’ll need are some replacement parts which are available in almost all the nearby hardware store locations. Just grab the required materials and follow the simple steps mentioned above depending on the type of dresser drawer slide you have.

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