Quick Fixes for Sticky Doors, Wobbly Chairs and Doors that Won't Stay Open

Sticky wood doors and drawers, doors that won't stay all the way open, chairs that wobble - so annoying! And not so difficult to fix either.  Here's how you do it.


I bought a beautiful Italian made ladder-back chair for a song because one leg was a tiny bit shorter than the rest.  I used a glue gun and put a bead across the base of the shorter leg.  Hot glue begins to set up almost immediately and can be chipped back off if necessary, so it's an easy fix.  Just level the glue off with your finger (when it cools a bit!) and flip the chair.  Check if it is still wobbly and push lightly down on the seat closest to the offending leg to finish the job. The glue will be malleable but not sticky. When the glue hardens, the chair wobble is fixed!


My bathroom door was always half closed and it drove me crazy.  This is a super easy fix, too.  Pop the pin out of the center or lowest hinge on the door.  Take the pin to a work bench and use a hammer to put a slight bend in the middle of the pin (not too much and not too little!).  Put the pin back into the hinge and voila! Problem solved!  (If it isn't, then you haven't got quite enough of a bend in the pin.)


This problem can be related to humidity, too, so reducing the humidity in the house with a dehumidifier might be the best solution.  If not, there are a couple of options:  


First check to see if the hinge screws are coming loose.  Tighten them and check to see if the door now closes properly.  If a screw turns too easily you may need to replace it. Use a slightly longer screw to ensure it will bite into new wood.  If the hinges are not mortised into the door or door jamb, you can gain 1/4" by using a hammer and chisel to set them into place. (If you have a Dremel tool, it takes a lot less time and effort than a hammer and chisel.)  Just trace around the hinge on both the door and the jamb, remove door - hinge and all - and chisel away 1/8" of the wood inside the marks you made.  Be careful to keep it even or you'll wind up with an even bigger mess!  This is why the Dremel is a better choice for this job.  Reinstall your hinges and door, the problem should be fixed once and for all.


Next is to check to see if there are any high spots on the door or drawer that might be catching as you close it.  Use a low grit sandpaper to level out the surface and then a high grit sandpaper to smooth it out.  Repaint or stain the area to finish the job.  

If that doesn't work, you can use a hand planer to take even more wood off the door/drawer.  That was my only alternative as the door to my master bedroom was almost the exact same size as the door jamb.  (I didn't even have to remove the door to do this!)

You can also try rubbing a bar of soap or a candle on the edges and sides of a wooden drawer that sticks, the residue helps it to move more freely.  Waxed paper also works, just rub the waxed side all over the outside of the drawer.  I haven't tried this on any doors, but it just might work for that as well.



  1. Great tips Anne! I've got a bathroom door that sticks horribly so I'll check the things you mentioned.


  2. Okay, when are you getting your own TV show to share your tips?

  3. These are such great ideas for fixing those irritating things that I'm sure we've all dealt with at some point.
    Mary Alice

  4. You are the queen of tips and tricks...I have told the hubby about the door close fix...you are the best Anne!...

  5. I love that last pic. The light is hitting the desk so beautifully. I didn't know about the others, but the bar of soap trick has always worked for me.Thank you, Anne. xoxo Su

  6. Wow, you have the best tips! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for the tips Anne :-) Your hot glue solution to a wobbly chair is genius!

  8. Great tips in here Anne! We tried the bending the pin on a hinge and it worked perfectly. Defininitely going to try the wax paper trick on a sticky drawer in my office that drives me crazy. I'll let you know how it goes.

  9. I haven't got any of these problems at the moment but I will remember these tips and revisit when I need them! Sarah x

  10. Good tips! I had a door in my last house that would not stay open, it was like that for many years. Then I read about bending the pin and tried it and it worked!

  11. All great tips, Anne, and easy to implement. I especially like the wobbly chair fix with the hot glue. Brilliant!

  12. Such easy doable ideas to solve common issues with chairs, drawers and doors. Terrific Anne!

  13. Super handy ideas, Anne. I have a wobbly card table I'm going to try this on. And oh, how annoying is that door that won't stay open? grrrr:)

  14. Hi Anne,
    Great tips! I have a closet door that won't stay open and your solution is genius...going to try that this weekend! It will be so nice not to have to put a boot or a shoe in front of the closet door so it doesn't keep closing on me while I am trying to hang up my coat!
    Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs! Kimberley


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