My house is a kinda pseudo-Spanish style, and in the front there
are four large wood beams sticking out several feet from the roof
line and front porch. I'm guessing they are fir, but anyway they
are some kind of softwood like that. They measure 4.5" wide by
16" high. The beams are structural components, not just
So these beams are completely exposed and get rained on, and snow
piles up on them, and in the summer there's direct sun all day.
They look nice, but what a horrible design idea maintenance-wise.
Anyway, the beams have been painted (acrylic), but clearly not
often enough, and are in pretty bad shape, with some rot and
shrinkage. So I would like to go in and remove all the bad stuff,
put in filler, and then seal and paint. But I don't know what kind
of filler to use - it's going to take large amounts - or whether
you can even fill soft wood like this. And then how can I seal it
and paint it so this won't keep happening. Basically, I don't know
what I'm doing, and would appreciate some advice about how to go
I know there are alternatives. I could just cut them off, but if I
can save them I would like to do that. The other possibility is
some kind of sheet metal cover on the exposed sections, which would
then be painted (or maybe copper?). If anyone has done that kind
of thing, please tell me how you went about it and how it turned
Thanks for any advice.