The wood is pretty thick, so the carving would have to be pretty deep to really add up to much. But I get it if you would just rather not bother. Doing a (rattle-can spray) painted finish would be easier - filling the wood first and a prime/finish coat would get it presentable. If going that route - Bondo isn't the best filler out there as it can shrink over time. Small stuff no problem, it's just less optimal with a deeper fill. An epoxy filler would be better. There's a rattle-can finish thread on tb you could visit for advice and guidance if interested.