Coca-Cola Sign

Published

Restore an old Coca-Cola sign, you say? Would love to! It's on 100-year-old corrugated metal, you say?

Yeah, we can do that. It's in several pieces, you say? Well, sure, we can put them back together. The finished size will be 16' x 9'? Wow, that's big. And it needs to be assembled in a way that will be sturdy enough to make the trip back to Arkansas? Um... And look nice enough to be displayed in the living room? Oh man... what did we get ourselves into?

Turns out, one of the coolest projects we've ever done.

This sign originally hung on the side of a service station in Caddo Gap, AR. Our client is remodeling the property into a residence, and the sign will once again be a showpiece there.

It was divided into eight separate sheets of metal, complete with rust, dents, and a couple of bullet holes. You just can't buy patina like that! We began by lining the pieces up and triming off some rust and ragged edges. Then we cleaned and degreased each panel while being careful not to wash away any of the existing art. We would need to save as much as we could, no matter how faint, to help us stay true to the original.

Next, we built a frame to attach the sheets to. We considered painting and then reassembling, but the only way to ensure the art would line up correctly was to treat it as one piece. We framed it almost like you would a wall, with 2x4's every two feet or so, allowing us to attach the panels where they overlapped with each other.

We did a little research to match the paint colors that Coca-Cola would have used at the time, and picked up some high quality hand-lettering enamel from One-Shot. The best way to stay true to the original would be to paint it all by hand. It took many, many hours and countless trips up and down the ladder, but the results are absolutely beautiful.

We love that our client chose to keep all 100-or-so years worth of dents, holes and character. We are proud to have been trusted with such a cool piece of history and couldn't be happier with the results! May it hang around at least another hundred years.

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Coca-Cola Sign

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Atom Eleven | 318-490-0340
134 Lisa Lane | West Monroe, Louisiana 71291 | United States