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Hollywood Walk of Fame Facelift

Hollywood Sign Facelift

With its paint flaking and rust marring its letters, the non-profit Hollywood Sign Trust decided it was time to attack the problem.

"It's going to give it more life, it's going to protect it from rust and other challenges," said Tom LaBonge. "It will give it a lot of years. It's getting a facelift."

That work began Oct. 2 and now, more than a month later, the painting crew says they're about finished with the last few letters.


Original Sign

The Hollywood Sign was built back in 1923 and it originally read Hollywoodland. After several renovations, the old sign was town down and a new one built in 1978. Now, 10 guys, strapped into scaffolding, are trying to get nearly 35 years worth of paint off the corrugated metal letters.

Scraping and painting

"You scrape, scrape, scrape 'til you get it all off," said painting foreman Victor Galindo. "The first 15 feet have about 10 layers of paint on it. After that, no one could reach up there, so it's just the primer and the two coats of paint that they put before."

You'd think a project like this would be a piece of cake for professional painters but the Hollywood Sign poses quite a series of challenges. Not only are these letters 45 feet tall, but they're standing on the side of a steep mountainside. "You have to come downhill, uphill with buckets," said Galindo. "It gets heavy. By the middle of the day, you're running out of strength." Once the metal's bare, painters apply Sherwin Williams primer and paint, about a hundred gallons per letter. That's good news for folks who look up at the icon almost every day.




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