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Saving a "ghost" advertising sign

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Project by DaleMaley posted 05-01-2017 11:23 AM 653 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last August, I volunteered to repaint one of our small town’s old building advertising signs that is 68 feet wide and about 24 feet high. It was originally painted sometime before 1934.

One of the challenges on this project was the big missing letter “I” in Occident. I went online, and found a town in Minnesota that had restored the same sign, and I took a screen shot of their sign. The process I used to restore our “I” using the Minnesota screen shot was:

-imported the screen shot of the Minnesota “I” into Google Sketchup
-scaled the I to the size needed for our sign
-redrew the I in Sketchup
-printed out the new I on paper full-scale using Sketchup (I had to tape the 8.5×11 sheets of paper together to get the big I)
-glue the paper I onto 3/16” thick Luan, then cut the Luan to yield the wood pattern for our I
-take the new wood pattern for our I up the 24 ft. extension ladder
-lift one side of the ladder from the wall and slip in the wood pattern in place
-using a big lead pencil, trace the I pattern onto the brick
-tape the I using blue masking tape
-paint 3 coats of paint to make our new I

Luan seemed to be the optimum choice for making my template for the missing I. It is stiff enough and light enough to easily take up a ladder, and it is relatively inexpensive.

Everybody in our town loves the old restored building advertising sign.

I made a Youtube video which condenses the 2 weeks of painting this sign into a 2 minute video…...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_StnYBiTd8

This summer, I am doing another building advertising sign. I will post it here once I get it done.

Thanks!

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/





13 comments so far

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

161 posts in 168 days


#1 posted 05-01-2017 11:42 AM

good job, I love those old signs

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#2 posted 05-01-2017 12:02 PM



good job, I love those old signs

- EricTwice

Thanks! I had never painted a sign before in my life, but this one really came out nice. I am not good enough to free-hand paint these old signs, so I use blue masking tape on every letter. Once I tape a letter, it is easy to quickly give each letter 3 coats of paint.

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View JCamp's profile

JCamp

270 posts in 185 days


#3 posted 05-01-2017 01:09 PM

man that looks great. No doubt that was a long time consuming project but it completely changed the looks of the building for the better.
In my old home town we use to have murals that were painted. they put some sort of sealer over them and when vandals would spray paint on them they could just be scrubbed clean. If that is an issue where you live you might research that some

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#4 posted 05-01-2017 01:26 PM


man that looks great. No doubt that was a long time consuming project but it completely changed the looks of the building for the better.
In my old home town we use to have murals that were painted. they put some sort of sealer over them and when vandals would spray paint on them they could just be scrubbed clean. If that is an issue where you live you might research that some

- JCamp

No problems here with vandalism, “knock on wood”.

Here are the stats on this project….........including the man-hours…....

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

1875 posts in 347 days


#5 posted 05-01-2017 01:34 PM

GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony Reinholds,Pa. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

25863 posts in 2501 days


#6 posted 05-01-2017 02:21 PM

Beautiful work. I love old signs.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#7 posted 05-01-2017 03:04 PM

I almost forgot, I did a story with the local radio station about this project as well…........you can listen to it here...

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

239 posts in 692 days


#8 posted 05-04-2017 11:06 AM

Proud of you Dale for doing this project!
Any of you who are interested in doing something like this should check out The Walldogs – they’ve been doing this for more than 20 years…
http://thewalldogs.com/

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#9 posted 05-04-2017 11:39 AM



Proud of you Dale for doing this project!
Any of you who are interested in doing something like this should check out The Walldogs – they ve been doing this for more than 20 years…
http://thewalldogs.com/

- mikeacg

Thanks!

I am aware of the Wall Dogs group, and I think it is great the work they do.

In our part of the country, there is a 5 year waiting list for them to come do a job. They did a nearby town, ......a few years ago. I have been told the total cost worked out to $10,000 to $20,000 per mural, once you figure in all the costs involved. In Illinois, a small percent of each hotel bill is given back to the city, to use on projects like this. The nearby town has 3 or 4 hotels. Unfortunately, our small town has zero hotels, so no hotel income to fund projects like this.

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

239 posts in 692 days


#10 posted 05-04-2017 12:28 PM

Dale,

Our village has the hotel/motel tax too – and we have lots of them! The Wall Dogs stay pretty busy I guess. Who typically pays the cost for all that work?
I haven’t had time to participate in the past but now that I am semi-retired I’d love to help but I’m not sure we have anything in the UP that would warrant their attention!

Love your website! You are certainly into a lot of different things!

Mike

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

16358 posts in 2641 days


#11 posted 05-04-2017 12:47 PM

That’s just awesome. So much of our history is lost and will continue to fade without people like you! Kudos to you sir!

Also, really liked sidewalk supervisors. We call em TJ Lookers and you can call them out by saying (in heavy new England accent) Weee got a lookah, lookahlookahlookah.

-- Something, something, something.

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#12 posted 05-04-2017 12:49 PM

In our nearby town, the hotel tax money was used to pay the Wall Dogs.

In my small town, I typically donate my labor, then a local non-profit foundation picks up the materials cost. Sometimes the City also does some labor and some materials (like paying for the cement and pouring the sidewalks).

Our small town has a town improvement group, which is led by myself and two Alderman. We identify the top projects we want to do each summer season, then seek funding from the non-profit and/or from the city.

Out of a population of 4,000 people, about 12 people attend the regular meetings and do the work (12/4,000 = 0.3%). Because our work is so closely tied to the City, it is very helpful to have at least 1 Alderman on the team. Maybe you could set up a similar improvement group at your town, and volunteer to do projects.

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

View DaleMaley's profile

DaleMaley

337 posts in 1870 days


#13 posted 05-04-2017 12:51 PM



That s just awesome. So much of our history is lost and will continue to fade without people like you! Kudos to you sir!

Also, really liked sidewalk supervisors. We call em TJ Lookers and you can call them out by saying (in heavy new England accent) Weee got a lookah, lookahlookahlookah.

- chrisstef

Thanks!

I never heard sidewalk supervisors called by your New England terminology!

-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/

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