Bringing The Vintage Back To Life

Local Talent – Painter – Robin Waddell

Robin Waddell has always appreciated the craftsmanship of older furniture.  The strong “bones” and character of these pieces often inspire her to resurrect them from the decay caused by years of love or years of neglect. “This old furniture has lasted lifetimes and has stories to tell,”  she said. “I love finding a piece all dirty and broken and making it useful again.” Often under the dust and loose fitting pieces, she finds that the furniture is still solid and just needs a facelift.

The designs she makes are made with a wood stain rather than paint.  After drawing on a design with a pencil, she applies a single dark stain with a brush, or sometimes her fingers, shading the color as she goes.  The results are as unique as they are beautiful.

Ms. Waddell first saw the designs on the internet. When she realized they were hand stained, she began to do more research about the process to learn as much as she could.  Using various pictures and vague tutorials, she taught herself the technique. There were bumps along the way; the very first chair she did was top coated and sealed before she realized she had forgotten to erase the pencil lines.  Disappointment notwithstanding, she continued with new pieces and improved.

A further advantage of this staining technique is that you can still see and appreciate the natural grains in the wood.  Ms. Waddell also paints some of her refurbished furniture, and says that the paint helps preserve it as it moves through time. However, there is wood she simply will not paint over.

Wanting to expand her horizons, Ms. Waddell is now teaching herself to incorporate various colored stains into her designs.  She is also doing custom work, and hopes to try some wall hangings soon.

Robin Waddell owns and runs The Front Porch: A Vintage Experience.  The shop is filled with many vintage dishes, glassware and furniture.  Recently Ms. Waddell became a Dixie Belle Paint retailer; she has 64 different colors and endless combos to choose from. Ms. Waddell is also starting to offer classes with the Dixie Belle Paint.

To learn more about The Front Porch, custom furniture staining/painting, or Dixie Belle painting classes, contact Robin Waddell by phone at 509-993-3263, or on Facebook by going to

Artisans and creators have exceptional talents and abilities that often get overlooked or underpraised. If you or someone you know has an ability that you think should be highlighted, write the editor at [email protected] or Editor Deer Park Gazette PO Box 1581, Deer Park, WA 99006.

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