HOLLIDAYSBURG - Waddell and Sons Professional Painting Inc. has been painting local homes, businesses and churches for 50 years, but the family's painting roots go back even further.
"Our father, Peyton Randolph, started the business in 1961. Our great-grandfather also was a painter," said Randy Waddell.
"We say over five generations but it could go back further than that," said Jody Waddell, Randy's brother and co-owner of the business.
(Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec)
Brothers Jody (left) and Randy Waddell from Waddell and Sons Professional Painting Inc., a family-owned business that has been in Altoona for 50 years, work at a Broad Avenue home.
Both brothers joined the family business after graduating from Hollidaysburg Area High School.
"I always wanted to go into the business," 1978 graduate Randy Waddell said. "College wasn't for me. I didn't know anything else."
"I contemplated college, but I wanted to stay with my roots," 1988 graduate Jody Waddell said. "You have to have a knack for this. You either love it or you hate it."
Both learned the trade from their father.
"We started out at 12 or 13 years old painting awnings and fences - the hardest things to do," Randy Waddell said. "We learned from our father. We give all the credit to our father."
"It is in our blood. Our father taught both of us," Jody Waddell said. "Certain families are doctors, certain families are teachers and certain families are painters. We are painters."
The Waddells average between 60 and 70 projects a year, and in some years have done as many as 100.
"We specialize in residential and church painting," Randy Waddell said. "Residential projects and churches have built our business."
Most of their work is done in Blair County, but they also do a lot of work in the State College area.
"This is our home, our pride and joy, but we will go a couple of hours [away] for a church or home," Jody Waddell said.
His brother said there is "always a Waddell on the job," which they believe sets them apart and has made them successful.
Mike Farabaugh of Hollidaysburg, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Town and Country Real Estate, moved to the area from Washington, D.C., area about six years ago. He said he is pleased with the Waddells' work.
"They did one job for me, and once I saw the quality of their work, I didn't get any more estimates. Their work is far and above anybody else. It is flawless. You cannot compare," Farabaugh said. "They are fussier than I am. They go over everything with a fine-tooth comb."
The Waddells also painted the Sorbera Family Chiropractic building, 1962 Old Route 220 North, Duncansville.
"They were very punctual, kept to their time frame, were very reasonably priced and they were very neat and very organized," Dr. Steve Sorbera said.
The Waddells say painters are facing more challenges today.
Randy Waddell said there are more specialty primers and there is more priming and preparation work to be done. He also said they have to deal with more government regulations.
The Waddells hope their sons some day will take over the business.
Randy's son, Aaron, 28, is starting to learn the business. Jody's sons, Peyton Randolph, 6, and Jake Caden, 4. aren't quite ready to join the business.
The Waddells are optimistic about the future of the family business.
"We see it as very solid. We take it one job at a time," Jody Waddell said. "All we care about doing is a great job for the people we are working for at that time."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.