Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Our house has old siding with decorative holes:

Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

At first I thought this might be termite damage but a house inspector examined it and confirmed that this is purely decorative style. I'd like to change this.

Is there a wood filler I can use here? Or is replacing the entire plank the only option?

I'm reluctant to replace entire pieces because there is insulation blown in behind the wall and removing the pieces could get messy.

share|improve this question
Those actually look like worm holes or woodpecker damage that was in the tree before it was sawed into boards. – shirlock homes Mar 11 '12 at 21:18
The siding type pictured is called "wormy cypress" and was popular in the south in the late 60s and early 70's. – user21234 Apr 26 '14 at 20:10
Thanks @user21234! I didn't know there was a specific name for it. – Mike B Apr 26 '14 at 22:01
In the Pacific Northwest, it's known as Pecky Cedar. The tree gets borers in it and a kind of dry rot takes hold. You can see the checkerboard cracks in the material left inside the "gashes". – Fiasco Labs Apr 27 '14 at 3:09
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Wow, not exactly what I'd call decorative, but whatever. You can fill those gaps with Bondo auto body filler. Just be sure to clean out any loose or chipped paint etc. Auto body willer actually works better than wood filler in exterior applications.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @ShirlockHomes. After doing this, I'm likely going to want to paint over it. Will I need any special paints to work with both wood and the filler? – Mike B Mar 11 '12 at 22:38
@MikeB - You can use the same paint. Let the bondo cure, sand, prime, and paint it. Sometimes bondo needs a little extra primer (a big patch feels like it sucks it in). Once it's primed well it will take paint without a problem. – Steve Jackson Mar 13 '12 at 12:05
Brilliant. Thanks guys! – Mike B Mar 13 '12 at 19:20
Steve Jackson is right on. Do it pal. – shirlock homes Mar 13 '12 at 23:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.