Don't get frustrated over problematic drawers, doors and creaky hinges. Try these quick fixes:

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Image: Metaphor Studio


If drawers don’t slide smoothly: Take them out and check the glides on the drawer and inside the cabinet. There might be loose screws or the glides may need replacing if they are bent or misaligned.

If drawers won’t pull out: Chances are there’s an obstruction. A detached nail or screw can cause a drawer to misalign and stick. Sand the edges and glides or apply paraffin wax to help drawers slide easily again.

If drawers are warped: Heavy loads cause drawer bottoms to warp, so make sure you don’t put too many items in one drawer. To install new bottoms, measure and cut a half-inch thick MDF board (this can be bought from hardware shops) according to drawer size. Fix it in place with wood glue and nails, or heavy staple gun.


Problem 1: Doors often sag in their frames and become misaligned from the latches over time. Adjust those loose hinges: prop up the door with a book to raise it to the right height before tightening the hinge screws. If the screws won’t tighten, insert a wooden peg coated with epoxy glue into each of the screw holes. Once it’s set, drill new holes into the wooden pegs to reattach the hinge screws.

Problem 2: Dirt and paint build-up on door edges and jambs stop them from closing properly. When this happens, mark the edges that stick with a pencil to gauge how much wood to take off. Remove the door and plane off (with a jack plane) the indicated spots. If the sides stick out, plane on the hinge side and not the latch side. 

Creaky hinges:

Spray the hinge with a lubricant like WD-40, then open and close the door or window to spread the oil through the mechanism.
If the hinge is still squeaky, detach it from the door and slide out the hinge pin. Use an abrasive like sandpaper or steel wool to give it a good rub and remove any dirt or rust.
Put it back on and spray again with WD-40. If this still doesn’t work, replace the hinge.