Materials used to construct the Eiffel Tower include wrought iron, steel and paint. Wrought iron forms the majority of the tower structure while steel provides additional support and paint adds aesthetic appeal along with protection from corrosion.
The Eiffel Tower contains a large volume of all materials used for construction. More than two million rivets of wrought iron form the base of the tower and provide basic support and structure. The Eiffel Tower contains more than 200,000 square meters of iron, which require frequent and routine maintenance.
Every seven years, the Eiffel Tower receives a facelift in the form of repainting. Touch-ups help keep the tower looking fresh and protect the structure from wear and tear from the elements. Each upgrade requires more than 50 tons of paint. A large team of approximately 25 painters work for more than a year to repaint and resurface the structure.
The outer layer of the Eiffel Tower features a brown shade, although occasionally the color changes. Painters use lighter shades of brown to cover the top portion of the tower and use darker shades for its base. Approximately three shades of brown complete the painting. Painters use lead-free paints for the tower, which reduces exposure to toxic fumes for workers and visitors. After painting the tower, workers apply a finishing coat to provide maximum protection against corrosion and rusting.