What could be called Los Angeles' longest facelift procedure is ready for the public: After more than two months of pressure washing, paint dissolving and recoating, the Hollywood Sign is finally finished and resplendent in a new coat of brilliant white paint. Check out the time-lapse video of the process below.
"We're very, very pleased [about putting] a new face on an old friend," The Hollywood Sign Trust Chairman Chris Baumgart said.
The trust paired its efforts with Sherwin-Williams to complete the $175,000 makover, which took 105 gallons of primer and 255 gallons of exterior paint. Sherwin-Williams donated $140,000 of those costs in paint, scaffolding and labor to what a press release called the sign's "most extensive refurbishment in nearly 35 years."
"You had to strip each letter all the way down to the metal," Baumgart said. "The paint that was put on it in 1978 was giving way and falling off of the metal letters. You couldn't just sand and prep like you might on your home."
According to Baumgart, the structure stands for something much larger than its staggering, 45 x 350 foot frame. He said it symbolizes a Los Angeles way of living.
"The sign is about dreams. Dreams of making it in the business, and the dreams that are put on screens large and small," he said. "In addition to being the icon of the entire entertainment industry, the sign is also the face of the Southern California lifestyle," Baumgart said.
Three fun facts about the Hollywood Sign's bright new sheen:
1. The project stayed eco-friendly by not sandblasting. Instead, workers used what Baumgart calls "high-tech Band-Aids" to dissolve the old colors. "You'd put that Band-Aid on on day one, then you can come back the following day and slowly peel those Band-Aids off, and underneath it, the old layers of paint had just turned to goo," he said.
2. Painters removed up to five coats of old paint in some places. Until this most recent endeavor, the sign would receive smaller touch ups to stay fresh.
3. The three coats of paint required to cover the sign weighed more than a ton. The iconic landmark needed one coat of primer and two coats of paint, like most painting projects prescribe – just a lot more of it. The layers will hopefully ward off rust, blistering, mildew, peeling and chalking, just a few of the natural ailments that can plague the sign's face.