How to Reseal My Old Timer Wood Stove

An old-fashioned pot-belly or Franklin stove doesn’t offer the same kind of heating that the newer airtight wood stoves do – but on a cold night, you’ll welcome the warmth regardless.
The pot-belly stove puts out a lot of heat when sealed against drafts.The pot-belly stove puts out a lot of heat when sealed against drafts.
To improve the efficiency of your old-timer wood stove, use some wood stove cement to seal up the gaps on the stove's seams. This will help keep smoke inside the stove and chimney pipe where it belongs as well as allow you to control the burn of the wood better using the dampers on the stove.

Step 1

Purchase a container of premixed wood stove or furnace cement. Use this material internally or externally on the wood stove because it is formulated to withstand the heat.

Step 2

Place a candle inside the wood stove and light it. This will help you to identify cracks, seams or any holes in the wood stove that need sealing.

Step 3

Work on the stove in a clockwise direction so that you know what part you’ve finished. You will use the wood stove cement to fill in all the gaps in the wood stove at all corners and seams.

Step 4

Lightly dampen the first seam with the wet rag. The cement mixture is sticky and thick and requires the surface to be slightly damp as you apply it.

Step 5

Use the putty knife and carefully fill in the seam with the wood stove cement. Spread it evenly across the seam and ensure that you cover the seam completely. Smooth it out as you go to avoid sanding later, where possible.

Step 6

Wipe off any excess with the wet rag. Use the rag to smooth the seam if necessary. Allow the cement to dry thoroughly. Repeat the process for every seam, crack or gap in the stove.

Step 7

Sand any rough edges, if necessary, after the cement has dried.

Things You Will Need

  • Wood stove or furnace cement
  • Candle
  • Putty knife
  • Wet rag
  • Heavy-grit sandpaper
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask


  • Use gloves when working with cement to protect your skin. Wear a dust mask when sanding.

About the Author

As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.