Painting second coat at Prado Dam Mural by One Way Painting's team of Orange County house painters

Prado Dam Restoration Update: Unveiling the Impact of a Second Coat

Greetings, friends and supporters of the Prado Dam restoration, and welcome to this new update! As you might have heard by now, we at One Way Painting are the painters behind the restored Prado Dam Mural in 2023. We’re thrilled to have you back with us for our fourth progress report, marking another exciting chapter in our restoration journey. Today, we are excited to share that the mural has been adorned with a second coat of paint, guaranteeing its enduring brilliance. Join us in safeguarding this remarkable masterpiece, ensuring its beauty and message live on for years to come!

Prado Dam Mural Restoaration Update on April 28, 2023 after Mural gets a second coat of white paint for its background
April 28, 2023: Prado Dam Mural After Second Coat of White Paint, Images by Alan Sturm

Sealing the Mural’s Legacy with a Second Coat

Throughout the restoration journey of the Prado Dam Mural, our top priority has been to protect its beauty and honor its legacy. This week, our focus is on giving the mural a second coat of paint, a crucial step in ensuring its longevity and vibrancy. Our attention is particularly directed towards the white background, which is known to be the most vulnerable to fading. We witnessed firsthand how the fading of the white backdrop over time significantly altered the mural’s overall design and impact.

In fact, before the mural’s removal, digital maps and simulations demonstrated that restoring the white backdrop alone could revive a substantial part of the mural’s original essence. Although these findings were not utilized due to the lead abatement process, we recognize the significance of the white background. As such, our commitment to excellence goes beyond mere restoration; it’s about ensuring the Prado Dam Mural continues to inspire for generations to come.

By dedicating ample time to protect and restore the white backdrop, we strengthen the mural’s resilience and safeguard its artistic and historical significance. With this additional coat, we enhance the mural’s durability, ensuring that it withstands the test of time and continues to inspire generations to come.

Applying the Second Coat of Paint

Get ready to witness the mural come to life as we adorn it with a second coat of paint over 5 days. But before we delve into the details, let’s take a moment to recap where we stand in our restoration project.

Recap of Our Journey So Far

  • With 18 days passed and just 6 remaining, we are thrilled to announce that the mural is nearing its completion.
  • By April 24th, 2023, the mural had already become a sight to behold from the freeway. It proudly displayed ‘200 YEARS OF FREEDOM’, the Liberty Bell (without its crack), and the years 1776-1976.
Bicentennial Freedom Mural with "200 YEARS OF FREEDOM", the liberty bell without the crack and the completed years 1776-1976
Prado Dam Restoration Update on 4/24/2023 – Drone Images by Alan Sturm

On April 24th, as we left the dam, we were amazed by the mural’s near-completion. The next day, April 25th, we returned to the dam to begin applying the second coat of paint.

A Second Coat of White

We began our mission to apply a second coat, starting with the white background.

Understanding the significance of a strong foundation, our team carefully applied a second coat of white to the entire background, including the white stars and stripes within the years. This took our team 4 days to complete.

The second coat makes a huge difference in the mural’s longevity, vibrancy, and overall appearance.

This seemingly small detail of applying a second coat ensures not only the mural’s durability but also enhances its vibrant and timeless appearance. It ensures that the masterpiece truly pops and stands the test of time.

We started with the white background around the year 1976, followed by the background around the year 1776. By the end of April 27th, we had completed the white background around the years 1776-1976 and the Liberty Bell.

On April 28th, we finished the second coat of paint for the ‘200 YEARS OF FREEDOM’ background, completing the white background.

Striking Before and After Images: The Power of a Second Coat

Check out stunning aerial images by FAA licensed drone pilot Alan Sturm showcasing our progress on April 28, 2023.

Touch-ups to Red and Blue Elements

After applying the second coat of paint to the white background from Tuesday, April 25th, to Friday, April 28th, we were eager to move forward with the final two days of work during the first week of May. But, Mother Nature had its own agenda. A week of rain from May 1st to May 5th compelled us to temporarily halt our progress for safety reasons.

Despite facing the unexpected obstacle of a week-long rain spell, we returned to the dam on Monday, May 8th. It was time to resume our mission: applying the final touch-ups to the red and blue elements of the mural.

That Monday we did touchups, going over the red and blue paint again. the transformation became strikingly apparent. Take a closer look at the “M” here, comparing those with just one coat to those with the second. The vibrancy is undeniable.

comparing the red parts of the mural with one coat of paint vs two coats of paint
Prado Dam Mural Restoration Update on May 8, 2023. The mural is nearly complete, but the Liberty Bell is still missing its crack.
Prado Dam Mural Restoration Update on May 8, 2023

Thanking Our Generous Paint Donors: Dunn Edwards & Rust-Oleum

We extend a heartfelt thank you to our generous paint donors, Dunn Edwards and Rust-Oleum. Their invaluable support ensured the success of this project. Dunn Edwards’ donation of white paint and Rust-Oleum’s red and blue paints brought this mural to life. We are immensely grateful for their contributions, and we couldn’t have done it without them. It’s a beautiful reminder of how the 1976 mural was painted with donated paints too, uniting the past and present in this meaningful restoration.


As we are nearing the end of our project, there are only a few finishing touches left for us to do. Next time, we’ll be sharing our last progress report for this restoration, showcasing the cracking of the Liberty Bell. Thank you so much for following us on our journey! Join us next time for the grand finale!

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