How To Fix Old Dresser Drawers From Falling Out

We’ve all felt the frustration of a dresser drawer that simply refuses to behave—sliding out when it’s not supposed to and giving us mini heart attacks. But don’t worry; you’re in the right place! Sometimes repairing old furniture involves some small tweaks that can make a big difference.

This handy guide will walk you through how to fix old dresser drawers from falling out to bring those pesky old dresser drawers back in line. From fixing the drawer slides to stops and even felt pads, we’ve got all the tips and tricks right here to keep those drawers from falling out and ruining your day.

photo of drawer falling out from furniture with text overlay

The beauty of vintage furniture is undeniable, but let’s be real, those old dresser drawers can sometimes be a real pain, can’t they? It’s all fun and games until your drawer decides to take a leap of faith right when you’re pulling it.

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Not only is it frustrating to deal with a drawer that keeps falling out, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. You could end up with a bruised toe or even worse, broken items from the drawer falling out. But don’t give up on your old dresser just yet.

Let’s fix this issue once and for all! With a few simple solutions, we’ll make sure those pesky old dresser drawers know their place. They’ll be working just like they’re supposed to in no time. And it won’t even take much time and effort on your part!

Fix the Drawer Slides

The first step is to make sure the drawer slides are in working order. This involves making sure they’re adjusted correctly and that there’s something for the drawer to catch on. A lot of times, drawers will fall out because there isn’t enough friction between the slide and the frame.

If only one drawer in your dresser is giving you problems, check the other drawers and see what the tracks look like on those drawers. Sometimes the track is broken, or missing altogether. Here’s a guide on how to fix broken dresser drawer tracks if that’s the issue.

If you find your dresser drawers that have metal slides on the bottom of the drawer, are missing a piece that the other drawers have, watch this video to learn how to fix drawer slides.

photo of furniture with drawer removed showing the metal slide and plastic stopper

That little piece catches the drawers and keeps them from falling out, but it also makes it possible to remove the drawer if you pull hard enough. If your old dresser drawers are hard to open, check out our blog post about how to fix old dresser drawers that stick to learn more when old dresser drawers won’t slide.

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Add a Stop to the Drawer

If the drawer slide seems to be working correctly but the drawer is still causing problems, you can add an additional stop at the back of the drawer.

On some furniture, this is as simple as a little plastic tab that is rounded and flexible enough that it can be bent to be able to pull the drawer out. But, when it does its job, it catches the lip on the bottom of the drawer to keep it from falling out.

Another option is to screw a small piece of wood to the back of the drawer. Make sure when it turns that it is flush with the edge of the drawer so you can get it in and out of the dresser if necessary.

But when you put it in the dresser, you can flip the piece of wood up and tighten the screw, letting it go past the edge of the drawer so it can catch a lip on the inside of the dresser. This stop will catch the frame when you pull the drawer out, and prevent it from being pulled out too far.

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Felt Pads for a Gentle Touch

Finally, if the drawer is falling out because it’s not level, you can use felt pads under the drawer. They’re gentle on the wood and can help your drawer close more smoothly. But, they can make your drawers sit level so they don’t fall forward. Felt pads also add some additional cushioning to protect your furniture from wear and tear.

How to Keep Drawers From Going Too Far In

In the other case, if your drawers get pushed too far into your dresser, you need to put some stops under your drawer, right behind where the front of the drawer sits in the dresser when it is pushed into the correct spot.

You can buy metal drawer stops to replace ones that were used in antique and vintage furniture. They either come in an upside V shape or a T shape. If you see a hole in the frame of your furniture about where the drawer front sits, that’s where you are missing one or two.

attaching metal drawer stop using a hammer

Another DIY option is to cut a paint stir stick about at about an inch, and then glue the piece of wood where you need it to go under the drawer. Either way, these will help your drawers from getting pushed too far in. You can check out these DIY dresser makeovers to get more ideas and learn how to restore old furniture.

What are some common reasons for dresser drawers falling out?

But why do dresser drawers tend to fall out? There could be a few different reasons. Check out your drawers for any of these:

  • Loose or broken drawer slides: One of the most common reasons for dresser drawers falling out is due to incorrect or faulty drawer slides. These are the metal tracks that allow the drawers to slide in and out smoothly. If they are not set up right or are broken, the drawers may fall out.
  • Missing drawer stops: Another reason for dresser drawers falling out is missing drawer stops. These are small pieces of plastic or wood that are supposed to catch the drawers and keep them from sliding out too much. Without them, drawers just slip and fall out way too easily.
  • Overloaded drawers: Overloaded drawers can also lead to them falling out. When there is too much weight inside a drawer, it puts extra strain on the tracks and can cause them to break or become misaligned. Make sure you spread out the weight in your dresser drawers evenly to avoid this problem.

If any of these issues are present, know that you can easily fix them! Just follow the steps we have shared above. And if you’re feeling up for it, why not give your dresser a makeover while you’re at it? A fresh coat of paint or new drawer pulls may be the update your dresser also needs.

If you want to prevent these issues from happening in the first place, you should also regularly check and maintain your dresser drawers for any signs of wear and tear.

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