Queen Mary: Painted Funnel Reveal

The historic ocean-liner's aft funnel shows off its fresh Cunard Red paint job.

If the snapshot shared on the Queen Mary's social media on Friday, Oct. 27 puts the ol' "Sesame Street" ditty in your head — "one of these things is not like the other" — you're probably not alone.

For the photograph shows the historic ocean-liner from a distance, with its most prominent features, its three stately ship-topping funnels, very much in view.

But while the first two funnels remain a faded red-pink, a sight seen in recent years by visitors to the Long Beach landmark, the aft funnel is a very striking red.

Make that Cunard Red, the authentic, much-researched paint color chosen for the funnels' repainting, which is currently going on now, as well as a "top-to-bottom" paint job for the entire exterior of the ship.

The aft funnel has been covered up in recent days as the paint was applied, paint that was carefully matched to a "large chip of original Cunard Red paint" found on a plaque from 1969. Yes, there's a touch of orange in that red, which gives the hue a further richness and depth.

The funnel's concealment, though, was no mystery, as Urban Commons, the leaseholder on the hotel and attraction, had announced earlier in 2017 that the painting of the funnels would be part of the major refurbishment.

But when fans would get a first full look at all of that lovely Cunard Red on the superstar stacks was a question mark.

Look #1 arrived on the final Friday in October 2017, at least for people not there in person, but there's an asterisk, as there so often is with huge renovations.

That asterisk? There's been a bit of "paint blotching" on the aft funnel due to "the recent elevated temperatures," so "we are back at it," reveals the staff behind the renovations. Which means more scaffolding and fixer-upper-ing is still to come, followed by the eventual painting of the middle and fore funnel.

To peek at the historic recipe for this very special paint — buttermilk was an ingredient — and to see what's next for this colossal undertaking, check in with the Queen Mary's Facebook page where #FixItFriday is keeping fans updated on all of the spiffing, splotch-addressing, and all-out repairing this icon of the ocean is undergoing.

As for the small buildings in the foreground of the photograph? Those are the mazes of Dark Harbor, Queen Mary's autumntime scare event, which is haunting through Wednesday, Nov. 1. 

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