The epoxy sounds like an interesting idea. My only
doubt with that is that those products are fairly
new, so it's hard to know whether it will turn out
to provide good protection years later. The products
I've seen say you can paint them, but the surface
is not porous, so paint on top of that is not going
to serve anything other than a cosmetic role. Thus
you'd be depending entirely on the epoxy sealer., and
on no moisture getting in behind it.
I would at least prime them with linseed oil primer.
(Don't use water-base primer. It doesn't soak in.)
Personally I'd be tempted to add some extra linseed
oil to the primer. Current paints are not what they
used to be, and exposed ends was never a good idea
in the first place.
Fir is fairly tough but it will rot if exposed. There's
no reason for it to "breathe". (If you look at hardwood
stock in lumber yards you'll see that much of it is
sealed on the ends with wax, to prevent excessive
moisture uptake, which could cause warping.)
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