Hollywood Sign Painted for Centennial Celebration
In advance of its 100th anniversary, the Hollywood sign is being refurbished with a fresh coat of paint on its iconic letters.
“The sign is the pride of Los Angeles, and we are excited for fans all around the world to see this makeover for a very special 100th anniversary,” said Jeff Zarrinnam, Chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust.
Built by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler in 1923 as an epic $21,000 billboard for his upscale Hollywoodland real estate development, the sign soon took on the role of giant marquee for the city, according to the Trust’s website.
The sign was intended to be installed only for a year and a half, but the beacon still shines strong along the southern slope of Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills.
"The #nonprofit @HollywoodSign23 Trust will use 400 gallons of High Reflective White SW 7757 from @SherwinWilliams to make the city’s biggest star shine brighter" #hollywood #hollywoodsign #LosAngeles #cityofangels https://t.co/JHeDny4h2A— Jon Burk (@MrJonBurk) September 16, 2022
In 1949, the sign was shortened to “Hollywood” by the Chamber of Commerce and remains a reference to the film industry today. Nearly 30 years later, in 1978, the sign was demolished as a result of decay and was completely rebuilt for $250,000 thanks to celebrities like Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner, who hosted a fundraising party at the Playboy Mansion.
Over the course of its history, the sign received general maintenance to keep its appearance youthful. The latest restoration took place a decade ago in 2012, marking the landmark’s first extensive makeover in nearly 35 years.
Los Angeles-based commercial painting company Duggan and Associates Inc. led the operation, which involved completely stripping, priming and repainting the corrugated metal sign. According to the contractor, in 2005 the sign was coated with an elastomeric coating not suitable for corrugated metal applications.
As a result, the coating bubbled and delaminated and did not properly adhere to the previous coating applied in the 1990s.
To refurbish the sign in 2012, reports shared that the project cost $175,000 and was funded by Hollywood Sign Trust and The Sherwin-Williams Company. According to Sherwin at the time, the project was estimated to take between eight and 10 weeks.
Throughout that time, Chris M. Duggan, Owner of Duggan and Associates, shared that a team of six painters would be completing the job one letter at a time on the steep incline as a means to take better precautions regarding painters’ safety.
The sign measures 450 feet long, with each letter measuring 45 feet high and between 31 and 39 feet wide.
While using swing stages, the crews first stripped the letters using a 100% biodegradable paint remover to dissolve the coating until only the bare, corrugated metal remained. This was then followed by pressure washing and the application of Sherwin-Williams’ water-based Pro-Cryl Universal Acrylic Primer.
The sign was finished using Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex. Upon competition of the front, crews also scraped and sanded the back of the letters, which were then coated with the same primer and exterior paint.
The contractor noted that the new coating would last at least 10 years before needing a recoat.
Celebrating 100 Years
In celebrating 100 years, the iconic Hollywood sign is receiving a fresh coat of paint.
“We do it about every 10 years. That’s about the life cycle of the paint. It’ll be completely redone,” explained Zarrinnam. “The Hollywood sign is getting its new makeover just in time for its 100th anniversary. We want it to be looking in tip-top shape.”
Just as in 2012, global coatings manufacturer Sherwin-Williams and coating contractor Duggan and Associates will be leading the project. Work is expected to take about eight weeks and will be completed by a crew of 10 painters.
To ensure the sign’s white color and bright appearance, crews will be applying 400 gallons of High Reflective White SW 7757 from Sherwin-Williams.
The project is slated to reach completion by early November and was paid for with funding from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and private companies.
The painting project can be viewed via livestream here.