How to Seal a Pot Belly Stove

Truell Bliss

A pot belly stove, with a properly constructed fire, throws off enough heat to warm a room. In certain instances, however, it may also allow smoke and ash particles to cloud the atmosphere.

A stove needs a seal to prevent smoke from escaping.

Consequently, something needs to be fixed in order to keep the room warm while at the same time hold the smoke and dust inside the stove. The door on a pot belly stove must have a good seal to prevent ash dust and smoke from entering a room.

  1. Test the tightness of the seal on the stove’s door. Position a dollar bill across the threshold of the opening and close the door. If you can remove the bill with ease, the door seal requires attention.

  2. Spread an old towel or piece of cardboard on the floor in front of the stove. Lift the door up and off its hinges and lay it on the towel.

  3. Unscrew the gasket fasteners from the door and remove the old gasket. You may need to pry off the old gasket from around the door with the head of a screwdriver and also scrape off the remnants of the old gasket glue. Brush out the gasket groove thoroughly to remove excess dust.

  4. Squirt a liberal amount of gasket glue in the gasket groove. Some gasket glues require a few minutes to “set up” while others do not. Make sure you follow the instructions printed on the glue tube.

  5. Lay the replacement gasket in one of the longest gasket grooves and align it within the groove. Cut it slightly longer than the groove so that you will have enough gasket material allowing you to tuck the ends under each other. Continue installing the rest of the gasket in this manner. Press the gasket into the gasket cement firmly with your fingers to ensure a good seal. Replace the gasket fasteners and reset the door on its hinges.


Home centers often stock replacement kits that contain the gasket and glue.


Some gasket glues may cause skin irritation, so wear work gloves just in case.