Using HDU to Restore the Union Station Sign

Built in 1939, Los Angeles Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States and is widely regarded as “the last of the great train stations.” The station’s signature Mission Moderne style makes it one of L.A.’s architectural gems, so when the people responsible for maintaining it needed to repair one of the iconic signs, they got in touch with Dave Dethloff with Kutting Edge Design. They were familiar with the work of Kutting Edge Design through The Irvine Company. They wanted to use HDU and when Dave looked into it, he discovered that Precision Board was the perfect fit for this historic restoration project.


“When I was looking into HDU, I talked with an artist friend of mine in Santa Ana named Paul Courtney.  He told us about Coastal Enterprises,” says Dethloff.

Dave needed to match the dimensions and color of the broken sign pieces, so he got in touch with Coastal Enterprises President, Chuck Miller, who provided him with some PBLT-18 Precision Board custom cut to the dimensions he needed, which was 8′ by 1.5″ by almost 2”.

Dave used FSC-88 primer to prime the Precision Board rods. He then sanded them and put a layer of Vista Paint black primer over that.  He completed the painting with a finishing layer of Rustoleum Satin Black Spray Paint to match the existing colors on the sign.

He says the job took about two days in total because it was his first time working with Precision Board high-density polyurethane.

“HDU’s consistency is really nice.  When you buy plywood there are voids from the laminations of different layers.  Precision Board is consistent all the way through,” says Dave.

The whole project went pretty smooth and Dave says the best part was that he didn’t have to install it- they used bucket lifts to put everything up there.

He adds, “When we need HDU again, we’ll definitely use Precision Board.”

Kutting Edge Design LLC is a Professional Signage Service founded in 2011 by Co-Owners Kirsten Sketch and Kirk Meese.  The company is committed to providing timely, quality design and signs for the graphic industry and for small to large, manufacturing, corporate, retail, and property managing customers. Concepts and ideas turn into quality products that ensure the image of their customer is kept to the highest standards. Located in Santa Ana, California, they are a preferred vendor for The Irvine CompanyArnel Commercial Management, Simon Group Properties, Donahue Schriber, and more.  They specialize in quick response to inquiries and they specialize in matching existing specifications. You can call them at (714) 721-8795 or visit their website.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board HDU, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane sign material that is particularly effective for making professional-looking indoor and outdoor dimensional signs.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  You can request free samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.