November 14, 2012

How to replace missing runners on furniture drawers

I am not talking about runners that decorate the top or your furniture, m'kay! We are talking about the part underneath that makes the drawer move smoothly in and out of the frame of the dresser, etc.

Every once in a while you get a piece of furniture that either have a missing runner(s) or badly deformed runners. This can cause future problems if it is not taken care of when you are rehabbing the piece. Plus if you are painting it, it can ruin your finish after just a few uses of the drawer and that I can't abide after all the hard work I put into painting furniture.

So what do you do? This is a great tip and super easy to do.

At any craft store or hardware store you can find dowels in various diameters.

They also come in squares as well. 

I purchased one 36" x 1/4" dowel, here is a remnant so you can see what it look like

Just one of my drawers on my green dresser had a missing runner.

I cut it into two pieces that ran the depth of the drawer and then using wood glue, glued in place. Space them side-by-side, about 1/8" apart.
Use clamps at both ends and in the middle until dry.  Once dry use small brads to further secure it.

I then usually use soap or candle wax to lubricate the runners and the runner in the frame to make it run really smoothly. Brand new runner for about $1.00. 

Happy repairing!

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  1. That is so, so smart! I'm always scared of dressers when they drawers don't operate smoothly, but look how easy it is to fix it this way! Totally brilliant.

  2. I thought wooden dowel rods are used as supports projects, such as kites and cakes. Never thought it can be used for furniture too.

  3. This... is the answer to my ghetto tv dresser refinish fail (yeah, found out the hard way that oil-based stuff turns yellow over time. yuck.). I'll have to try and see if I can salvage it! Thanks for the tip!

  4. What a helpful tip! I really needed to know how to do this. Thanks.

  5. Oh WoW Kim! Fabulous tip!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality!! I can't wait to see what you link up this evening!

  6. Brilliant! Thanks so much. I have a dresser to paint and now I can do it, instead of just glaring at it every time I go by.

  7. What an awesome idea!!! I need this right now as I have a free piece missing a runner on one side of a drawer. Thanks so much!!! Sharing at my party today. -K


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