I have an old wooden desk with a middle draw that has a center support that the drawer slides back and forth on. The friction creates drag that prevents the opening and closing action from seeming smooth.

What could I add to reduce the friction in the wood-on-wood slide? It is underneath the desktop, so appearance is not really an issue.

3 Answers 3


A good go-to solution is wax. Either some paste wax, or in a pinch you could rub a candle on it.

I've also rubbed a bar of soap on wooden drawer slides in the past, though I'm sure there are plenty of reasons not to use soap.

  • I keep a block of paraffin in my shop just for this purpose. You can find it in grocery stores in the canning section.
    – MattDMo
    Commented Sep 17, 2022 at 13:39

candle wax as mentioned in the other answer.

Otherwise glue some hardwood strips on the surface. Hardwood doesn't wear as fast as softer woods and be able to provide a smoother surface.

There are some low-friction tapes you can stick to one or both of the surfaces.


Another alternative -- modern upgrade from wax -- would be "ultrahigh molecular weight" (UHMW) plastic, such as teflon. This is available in a number of forms, one of which is thin self adhesive tape. It doesn't look as traditional as wax, of course, but ir it's on the underside of the drawer anyone who notices it will also know why it's there, so...

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