How to Lubricate Wooden Table Slides

Looking to keep your wooden table slides running smoothly? Follow these simple steps to apply some lubricant and keep them in good condition.

If you’re like me, you probably love wooden furniture. There’s just something about the way it looks and feels that makes it so appealing. However, if you’ve ever owned a piece of wooden furniture with slides, then you know how frustrating they can be.

In order to keep your wooden table in good condition, you need to lubricate the slides at least once a year. This is an easy process that can be done with minimal effort. In this guide, we will show you how to lubricate your table slides using household products.

Follow these simple steps, and your table will run smoothly! In this post, I’m going to show you how to lubricate wooden table slides so they move more easily. Keep reading for instructions!

How to Lubricate Wooden Table Slides

Why Do You Need to Lubricate Wooden Table Slides?

Wooden table slides can become sticky or stuck over time, making it difficult to open and close the table. Lubricating the slide can help improve its function and prevent damage to the wood.

So, to keep wooden table slides in good condition, it is important to apply some lubricant regularly.

What Kind of Lubricate Can You Use?

Many lubricants are available on the market, but I recommend using a household product like WD-40 or vegetable oil for wooden table slides. These products will not damage the wood and will work effectively to keep the slides running smoothly. Also, ensure to avoid using any lubricants containing silicone as they can cause damage to the wood.

Necessary Materials and Tools

  1. Lubricant (WD-40 or vegetable oil)
  2. Clean cloth
  3. Toothbrush (optional)

Only with these three items, you will be able to lubricate your wooden table slides quickly.

10 Easy Steps on How to Lubricate Wooden Table Slides

Step 1: Clean the Table

Before lubricating, it is important to clean the table and slides of any dirt or grime. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the area. Be careful not to soak the wood. Because lubricants can attract dirt, it is important to start with a clean surface.

Step 2: Select Your Lubricant

Choose a lubricant that is safe for use on wood, such as WD-40 or vegetable oil. You can get WD-40 at any hardware store, and vegetable oil can easily be found in the kitchen. I recommend you use WD-40 because it has a longer lasting effect.

Choose a Lubricant That is Safe

Step 3: Apply the Lubricant

Using a clean cloth, apply a small amount of lubricant to the slide. Use a back and forth motion to spread the lubricant evenly across the surface. If necessary, use a toothbrush to get into any tough crevices or corners. Don’t use too much lubricant, as it can attract dust and dirt.

Step 4: Let the Lubricant Soak In

Allow the lubricant to soak into the slide for a few minutes. This will allow it to penetrate and lubricate the wood fully. You can use fan or a hairdryer to speed up the process if desired. Usually, it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to soak in. Be careful not to leave the lubricant on for too long, as it could damage the wood.

Step 5: Wipe Off Excess Lubricant

Using a clean cloth, wipe off any excess lubricant from the slide. Make sure to get rid of any excess lubricant that has not been fully absorbed into the wood. Next, you can check the slide to see if it moves smoothly. This step is important because excess lubricant can attract dust and dirt. Repeat steps 3-5 for all of the other slides on the table. Make sure to clean each fall before applying lubricant, and wipe off any excess after letting it soak in.

Step 6: Test the Slides

After lubricating all of the slides, test them out to see if they are moving smoothly. If not, apply a bit more lubricant and repeat steps 4-5 until the desired effect is achieved. Make sure to clean and lubricate the slides regularly to ensure they continue functioning properly.

Step 7: Store Lubricant Properly

After lubricating the table, it is essential to store the lubricant properly. Keep it in a cool, dry place, away from heat or direct sunlight. Because lubricants can attract dirt and grime, keep the cap on tightly when not used. This will ensure that it remains effective for future use.

Store the Lubricant Properly

Step 8: Reapply as Needed

It is a good idea to lubricate the table slides every few months or whenever they start feeling sticky or stuck. Regular maintenance will help keep the table functioning properly and prevent damage to the wood. You can also take the time to clean and inspect the slides for any damage or wear.

Step 9: Clean Up Any Spills Immediately

If you accidentally spill any lubricant on the wood, clean it up immediately with a damp cloth. Leaving it to sit can damage the wood and attract dirt. Don’t use any harsh chemicals to clean up the spill, as they could also damage the wood.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Smoothly Functioning Table

With regular lubrication, your wooden table slides will continue to function smoothly for years to come. Enjoy the ease of movement and the improved appearance of your table.

By following these steps, you can easily lubricate your wooden table slides and keep them functioning properly for years to come. Don’t forget to choose a lubricant that is safe for use on wood, clean the slides before lubricating, allow the lubricant to soak in, wipe off any excess, and reapply as needed. Happy lubricating!

You Can Check Out To How to Waterproof a Wooden Table for Outdoor Use

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. If the wooden slides are worn or damaged, sand them down before lubricating to ensure smooth movement.
  2. Apply the lubricant in small amounts and spread it evenly along the length of the slide with a clean cloth or brush.
  3. Avoid using too much lubricant, as it can attract dirt and grime.
  4. Re-apply lubricant periodically to maintain smooth sliding.
  5. When selecting a lubricant, opt for one that is specifically made for wood surfaces to ensure the best results.

These tips will help you achieve optimal results when lubricating your wooden table slides. Happy sliding!

Avoid Using Too Much Lubricant

5 Precautions You Can Take While Lubricating Wooden Table Slides

  1. Make sure to clean the slides with a damp cloth before lubricating.
  2. Use a small amount of lubricant and spread it evenly along the length of the slide.
  3. Avoid using petroleum-based or silicone lubricants as they may damage the wood.
  4. Allow the lubricant some time to soak into the wood before using the table.
  5. Regularly check the slides and reapply lubricant as necessary to ensure smooth sliding action.

Following these precautions will help maintain the quality and function of your wooden table slides. Happy lubricating!

What Are the Other Maintenance Methods?

In addition to lubricating, you can use other maintenance methods to keep your wooden table slides in top shape. Sanding down rough edges, tightening screws, and fixing any weak joints can all help prevent stuck or sticky slides. Be sure to use the proper tools and techniques for these maintenance tasks, as using improper methods can damage the wood.

Regular cleaning and physical maintenance can also help keep your wooden table slides functioning properly. Use a mild cleaner and a damp cloth to remove dust, dirt, and grime buildup. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they may damage the wood.

Regularly lubricating, maintaining, and cleaning your wooden table slides will ensure smooth sliding action for years to come. Don’t forget to take proper precautions while performing these tasks to prevent potential damage. Happy sliding!

Is Silicon Spray Good for a Wooden Table?

Silicone spray on a wooden table is not recommended as it may damage the wood. Instead, opt for a lubricant made specifically for wood surfaces to ensure the best results and avoid potential damage. It’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or do some research before using any lubricant or cleaner on wood.

However, if you have already applied silicone spray, immediately clean it off with a damp cloth and mild cleaner. Re-lubricate the slides with a lubricant made for wood surfaces.

Regularly inspect the wooden table for any signs of damage from the silicone spray and take necessary steps to repair or fix any issues that may arise.

Inspect the Wooden Table


You should now know how to lubricate wooden table slides to open and close smoothly.

You can keep your wooden furniture protected and lubricated by following the steps outlined above. For example, if you have a wooden table with slides, it’s important to lubricate them regularly to keep them in good condition.

You can use various products for this, but we recommend mineral oil or beeswax. Apply the lubricant generously and wipe off any excess before sliding the drawer back in. With regular care, your draws will stay smooth and easy to open for years.  

Hopefully, this blog has given you the information and confidence to lubricate your wooden table slides properly. Thanks for reading!

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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