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.

  • Those actually look like worm holes or woodpecker damage that was in the tree before it was sawed into boards. Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 21:18
  • 1
    The siding type pictured is called "wormy cypress" and was popular in the south in the late 60s and early 70's.
    – user21234
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 20:10
  • Thanks @user21234! I didn't know there was a specific name for it.
    – Mike B
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 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". Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 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
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 22:38
  • 3
    @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. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 12:05
  • Steve Jackson is right on. Do it pal. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 23:00

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