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.
1. WOBBLY CHAIRS
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!
2. DOORS THAT WON'T STAY OPEN
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.)
3. DOORS/DRAWERS THAT STICK
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.
DOORS & DRAWERS
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.