The world-famous Hollywood Sign celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023, and it looks better than ever thanks to a fresh coat of Sherwin-Williams paint.
Total team effort
The Hollywood Sign Trust is an all- volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the historic cultural landmark. Ten years ago, the trust asked Sherwin-Williams to help refurbish the sign, which at that point hadn’t been painted in 35 years and needed extensive surface prep to correct a multitude of issues.
Duggan and Associates, an experienced commercial painting contracting company based in Los Angeles, was hired to tackle the challenging job..
Together, they determined that the sign had previously been coated with an elastomeric coating not suited for the corrugated metal surface of the letters, causing delamination and bubbling when it didn’t adhere to the old coating.
To address this, Duggan’s crew stripped each of the 45-foot-high letters down to bare metal, using a 100 percent biodegradable Peel Away® paint remover. The letters were then pressure washed and primed with Pro Industrial™ Pro-Cryl® Universal Acrylic Primer, a water-based primer engineered for use on surfaces where rust and corrosion resistance are critical. The topcoat was Emerald® Exterior Acrylic Latex.
“The first time around in 2012, we had to strip and remove all the coatings that had been applied over the years,” says Chris Duggan, owner of Duggan and Associates. “That was very time-consuming.”
By comparison, the process for the latest repaint in 2022 was much easier. The 10-year-old paint job had held up extremely well, so the only prep Duggan’s crew had to do this time was pressure wash and spot prime.
Watch a time-lapse video of the painting of the Hollywood Sign
Self-cleaning paint for minimal maintenance
A dedicated crew of 10 workers from Duggan and Associates worked on the sign from sunrise to sunset over a period of four weeks, finishing the job nearly a month ahead of schedule.
For the topcoat, Emerald® Rain Refresh™ was chosen for its ultra-durable exterior coating with Self-Cleaning Technology™ and excellent UV and weather protection to keep the sign gleaming beneath the sun for centuries to come. This innovative exterior acrylic latex paint is formulated to wash dirt away upon contact with rain or water for a clean and fresh look with minimal maintenance.
In all, Duggan’s crew applied about 300 gallons of Emerald Rain Refresh and 80 gallons of Pro-Cryl on the latest sign repaint. Some Macropoxy® epoxy was also used on isolated areas for additional corrosion protection.
The letters also got a new paint color: Extra White SW 7006 (257-C1), which is being referred to as “Hollywood Centennial White” for this occasion.
Ensuring a safe job site
One thing that didn’t change from the 2012 repaint: the special attention paid to worker safety.
Duggan worked with a local scaffolding and staging company that designed custom swing stages for the steep incline where the letters were erected. At anywhere from 31 to 39 feet across, they were similar to swing stages used by window washers on high-rise buildings and secured safety lines.
Over 33 years in business, his company has handled many types and sizes of commercial jobs. But the Hollywood sign may be the most high-profile job of them all.
“To be honest, when I first heard of the project from Sherwin-Williams, I thought it to be just another high-end project for us,” Duggan says. “We have completed many high-end projects like the complete exterior of the Pacific Corporate Towers in El Segundo. But once local and national news heard about the painting of the Hollywood Sign, the project went international with many news agencies from England, Germany, Australia and New Zealand contacting us for interviews and trips to the sign. I didn’t realize the popularity of the sign throughout the world.”
His enthusiasm for the project was shared by his paint supplier.
“We’re thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with the Hollywood Sign Trust to usher the sign into its next century,” says Justin Binns, president of the Americas Group at Sherwin-Williams. “For 155 years, Sherwin-Williams has helped protect and beautify our nation’s most iconic landmarks through trusted and innovative paint solutions, and it was an honor for us to help bring this stunning milestone restoration to life.”
This story was published in the Spring 2023 issue of Pintor Pro magazine. Written by Mike Starling, Pintor Pro editorial director. ©2023 Randall Reilly. Photography by Karan Batia.