Whether you're looking for a way to spruce up your living room, or wanting to block the morning sun from entering your bedroom windows, curtains are an excellent addition to any room in your home. But if your curtains are a hassle to slide open and closed, it can make you wonder if they're even worth it. Curtain rings catching and getting stuck on the curtain rod can be frustrating, but is it fixable? We've researched how to get those pesky curtains to slide more easily.
There are several things you can do to help your curtains slide more easily:
- Dry silicone spray
- Curtain slide tape
- Measuring tape
- Custom-cut curtain rod
From easy to use products, to some fun DIYs, there are simple fixes to your curtain catching problem. Keep reading to see how you can make your bothersome curtains work how they were intended.
What Causes Curtains To Not Slide Smoothly?
There are a couple of reasons that can cause your curtains to be a pain to open and close. One issue is the connector joint on a telescoping, or extendable, curtain rod. These are the rods that have two separate shorter rods that interlock and slide to give you a more flexible length. The joint where they connect is uneven, so your curtain may slide easily one way, but in the opposite direction, they will get caught on the joint.
If you are using wooden and/or painted rods, the constant movement of the rings over the surface of the rod can create damage. This can be from paint or wood chipping and becoming jagged and uneven, leaving the top of the curtain rod with plenty of areas for your curtain rings to catch.
We don't often think about cleaning curtain rods, and even if we do, the top of the rod can be a cumbersome task. Dirt and dust built up over time can leave a sticky coating on top of the curtain rod. The rings can get stuck while attempting to move the curtains over this glue-like texture.
How To Solve These Issues
The following methods help your curtains slide more easily. No sticky or damaged rod is a match for these solutions.
Dry Silicone Spray
This silicone spray is a lubricant that is non-sticky and drying. When applied to the top of the curtain rod, it creates a smooth surface for the rings to glide across. Because this spray isn't sticky, it won't attract dirt and dust that can cause curtain rings to get stuck.
Click here to view it on Amazon.
How Do I Make Wooden Curtain Rails Run Smoothly?
Not only can constant movement over the surface of a wooden rod cause it to splinter and become uneven, but so can daily temperature changes. As the temperature changes, so does the moisture in the air. Wood reacts to these changes by expanding and contracting throughout the day.
Dry silicone spray is going to be the simplest solution to this problem. It will adhere to the surface without adding moisture and causing it to expand. It will also move with the wood as it changes throughout the day. For best results, lightly sand the surface to give it a smoother base before spraying the silicone.
Curtain Slide Tape
Like the silicone spray, curtain slide tape is applied to the top of the curtain rod to create a smooth surface for the curtain rings. However, unlike the spray, this tape will also allow the rings to slide over connector joints.
Click here to view it on Amazon.
If you have a spare measuring tape, then there is a quick DIY method you can use to help fix those curtains. If you're looking to bypass the connector joint, you can cut 6 inches from your measuring tape and use glue or double-sided tape to adhere the measuring tape over the gap like a ramp. Because the measuring tape is rounded, it should easily lay across the top of the rod.
If you are having issues with the entire rod being uneven and catching the rings, you can measure the length of the rod and adhere the measuring tape across the top to create a smooth surface for your rings.
Custom-Cut Curtain Rod
If your main issue is the extender joint in the middle of the curtain rod, you can purchase a custom-cut curtain rod. These rods are cut to the exact length of your choice. This means they can't be extended. It's a single piece of material, so there's no connector joint in the middle for rings to get caught on.
Because these types of rods can be expensive, especially if you're purchasing for more than one window in your home, we've put together a DIY to help you create your own!
1. Pick Out Materials
You first need to decide what material you want to make your curtain rod out of. The best options are a wooden dowel rod, an electrical conduit, or copper pipes. All of these are found at most hardware stores, are available in longer lengths for bigger windows, and are inexpensive options.
If you're looking for the cheapest— and most customizable — material, an electrical conduit will be your best bet. These have the longest length ranges, so you can fit those larger windows, or even a couple of small windows, with one piece. These can cost less than five dollars for a ten-foot rod.
Wooden dowels will be a cheap option you can paint, but they don't come in lengths much longer than five feet.
Copper pipes are the most expensive option, as they can cost up to fifteen dollars. However, they are a stylish look that wouldn't require painting. They are also less likely to get damaged in a way that would cause your rings to catch.
After selecting a material, you will also need a pipe cutter, curtain brackets, and paint if you choose. Pipe cutters and brackets can also be inexpensive.
Zantlea Pipe Cutter
Click here to view it on Amazon.
Adjustable Wall Brackets
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2. Prepare The Rod
You'll want to start by measuring the window you are making the curtain rod for. Make sure to measure at least 4 inches longer than the window so you have enough space to attach the brackets to the wall.
Measure the rod to the length you need and mark it. Then, use your pipe cutters to remove the excess length. If you are painting the rod and/or brackets a different color, this would be the time to do so.
3. Hang The Rod
Finally, simply attach the brackets to the wall, hang your curtains on the rod, and then place the rod in the brackets. Be certain to attach the brackets to a stud so that they are less likely to rip out of the wall under the weight of the rod and curtains.
This project will not only save you the hassle of pulling curtains over a connector joint, but it will also save you the money you'd be spending on expensive custom rods.
How Do You Make Pocket Curtains Slide Easier?
Pocket drapes are more difficult to maneuver across curtain rods because the fabric isn't able to easily glide on the rod. An easy solution to this problem is to hang the curtains from rings, and then if need be, use one of the mentioned methods above to smooth out the extender joint or uneven surface to make a smoother glide.
Can Pocket Curtains Be Hung With Rings?
Yes, pocket curtains can be hung with rings and it requires zero modifications to your current curtains to do so. Curtain clips are curtain rings with clips on the bottom that attach to the top of pocket curtains. When attaching the rings, be careful to space the rings equidistance apart and to use more clips if you are hanging heavier curtains.
Click here to view them on Amazon.
How Can You Make Your Shower Curtain Slide Better?
If your shower curtain rings stick or squeak loudly when you move the curtain, wax paper will become your new best friend. Wax paper, the same kind found in the baking aisle, can be rubbed along the top of the shower curtain rod. The wax from the paper will coat the rod, making it smoother. Just make sure to clean the dust and water stains off the rod first.
Curtains may be a beautiful addition to your home, but they can also be a pain when trying to open and close them. By using some simple tools, or getting crafty with a DIY, you can eliminate the struggle of difficult curtain rods and rings, and get back to enjoying your curtains.
Before you go, be sure to check out these articles for more information on curtains!
30 Different Ways to Hang Curtains
How to Choose Curtains for Your Living Room
I used a combination of techniques to FINALLY get our curtains to glide easily. It was driving me nuts to close and open the curtains every day. We bought a house with blackout curtains that covered a triple sliding glass door—total 12 feet long. There was also a 3 section window that was 11.5 feet long. The curtains have wide grommets and the curtain rod was 1.5 inches in diameter. We have to close the curtains every night as it is VERY bright and sunny as early as 5 AM in the summer.
I tried several different suggestions I found online and finally arrived at a combination of a homemade narrow and longer single rod along with the rolling shower curtain hooks in bronze I found on amazon.
I made the new longer and more narrow metal pole without telescoping sections out of half inch metal electrical conduit—about $7 for 10’ at Home Depot.
I needed two rods at 12’6” and 11’6”, but could only find 10 foot sections at our local home depot, so I bought three 10 foot sections and a pipe cutter, and pipe connectors to make longer rods. I cut one pole into the two shorter sections I needed to add to the 10 foot section of each rod.
I had a couple of pieces of wooden dowels I used duct tape sticky side out and put inside the two sections and the connector so the rod wouldn’t sag at the connection point.
I then spray painted both rods with some bronze/brown paint—it took a whole can for the two rods—and I actually went over a light coat of black spray paint I had to get more coverage.
I had tried the grommet curtains on the just the more narrow single rod, but it was still sticking a little. So I ordered the rolling shower curtain hooks from Amazon in bronze attaching them to the grommets and then the rings to the rod.
IT WORKS GREAT—FINALLY! I still have to figure out the end finials, but can use the curtains for now with ease.
Here is the list of things I used for the two 12 foot rods—most at Home depot except for shower curtain rings
1. 3 10’ sections of ½ inch metal electrical conduit—about $7 each
2. a pipe cutter about $18
3. conduit connectors ($2.50 for 5, but I only needed 2)
4. Spray paint (about $8 a can
5. dowel and duct tape—I had some scraps
6. Shower curtain rings with rollers—I got bronze in sets of 12 ($7 each):