Reinforce IKEA Furniture With Wood Glue

Shore Up IKEA Furniture with Wood Glue

IKEA furniture is affordable, often looks good, and gets the job done on a budget. This tip from reader Brian can help your IKEA cabinets and dressers last longer — shore up the joints and grooves with wood glue.

Photo by Duncan Hull

This tip actually comes from a Facebook conversation that former Lifehacker writer Adam Dachis had on Facebook after assembling a sharp-looking new Malm dresser — he remarked that it looked great, but having built it, he wasn't too sure about its stability. One of his (and our) readers noted that when he builds IKEA dressers (or when he wants them to last a little longer), he takes the drawers apart, lines the grooves with some wood glue, and puts the base insert back together. It locks everything down, adds serious sturdiness, and it's less likely to just bend or pop out of its groove every time you move it, or if the contents are a little heavy.

The tip is especially useful for IKEA furniture where you have to slide an insert through a groove, like the bottom of those Malm cabinets, or the backs of Billy bookshelves. Give it a try the next time you build — or get ready to move — an IKEA piece you'd rather not spend money replacing. We touched on this tip — and more — in our guide to making cheap furniture last, so head over there for more suggestions too.

Thanks to Brian (and Adam!) for the tip!


    Applies for all diy furniture really. I use PVA glue along any edge that had dowels in it, as well in the dowel holes.

    A point to note is that PVA or wood glue works best when both surfaces are wood. If one of the surfaces are plastic laminate, you might be better using an to read the glue bottle to sort it out........good ole liquid nails will also do the trick.

      Polyurethane can be a good middle of the road here. Comes in a squeeze bottle and requires no mixing like PVA, has a higher bond strength than PVA and bonds wood to non-porus materials well, nearly as well as epoxy. Expands to fill small gaps, waterproof, sandable. Lasts for ages if you put the top back on properly.

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