The IKEA MALM dressers I’ve owned have generally held up well. With a little bit of maintenance.
Editor Update: Since writing this tutorial, IKEA has recalled its MALM dressers and other products. If you need to learn more about the recall and your options (including refund!) here’s a direct link to the info you need on IKEA.com.
All too often, I need to repair a drawer bottom that bows and separates from its track, usually because I’ve tried to force fit too many pairs of Wigwam socks into a non-expanding space, but that wasn’t the real issue this time.
What I had encountered was self-inflicted, could have been prevented, and wasn’t something I was sure I could easily fix. (Oh yeah, and I noticed that the drawer bottom had just started to bow so I gave it the ol’ fixeroo but there’s no sense in writing a how-to on that again.)
See that piece of trim that sits between each of the drawers? If you own one of these dressers, you’ll know that the drawers fit together pretty seamlessly, but a thin piece of particleboard serves as a partition between drawer fronts.
And sometimes, when you try and lift the entire dresser by the partition that you thought was much, much stronger, crazy things happen:
I was left wondering what to do next, and removed the drawer above the broken partition for a better look.
Fortunately, the partition broke pretty cleanly. I was left with the broken piece of particleboard and a piece of hardware from the screw, which I can only find described as “the round-y screw fastener”. IKEA masters, what’s the right name for this awesome assembly device?
Once reinforced, the round screwy bit fit right back into the existing hole, and could be tightened as it was originally.
I let it dry all day, and dropped the drawer back into place before bed.
Because these partitions aren’t supporting beams, if your particleboard was shattered beyond a simple re-glue, consider rebuilding a small back panel out of plywood (or something slightly more maleable, like cork) and clamp it in place just like I did here.
Good luck. More IKEA wear-out fixes comin’ at ya.