• To define the Skill Standard for a Master Painter.
  • To establish and implement the assessment process for the Master Painter qualification.
  • To develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for painting operations in the different sectors of painting.
  • To provide a forum for the dissemination of craftsmen’s tips & tricks.
  • To promote Craftsmen (present and future) and Excellence in Craftsmanship.
  • Convince the youth of America that Painting is a worthwhile career endeavor.

Training our workforce and inspiring them are two challenges that face business owners daily.

The Pursuit of Excellence

  • Recognition of excellence
  • Knowledge and skill improves quality and productivity
  • Standards that create a path for development
  • Respect for those who do each aspect of the trade

Why We’re Here

In the Painting and Decorating Industry, there is a lack of standard/benchmark by which to identify which painters have achieved the highest level of competence within their profession. Everybody who holds a brush can call themselves a “painter”.

  • It lowers the status of our profession in the marketplace.
  • It cripples our “career appeal” in the job market
  • It handicaps the training of painters in our companies, because of the lack of a clear picture of what the end product is supposed to look like.

An Idea was Born

  • In May of 2001, the concept for this Forum was first articulated at a meeting of the PDCA Residential Committee in February of 2001.
  • During the summer, a list of Endorsers of this idea was put together.
  • In November of 2001, the PDCA Board of Directors approved the creation of the Council of Master Painters (former name of the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum). Seed Funding was raised for the new Council.
  • In March 2002, in Palm Springs, at the National Convention, a Mini-Summit was organized to assess the level of interest and need among the PDCA Membership for such a Forum. Thirty people attended, including representatives from 2 European countries.
  • The idea gained momentum and a Master Painter Conference was announced. It took place in September of 2002 in Chicago. The Conference attracted people from all over the United States. The International Association of Painting Contractors (UNIEP) had an official representative as well. A Board of Directors was elected, a clear Mission and Goals were articulated. The ADVENTURE had begun!

A Vision in Action

In its short history, the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum has put together and impressive list of accomplishments:

  • Convention Programming
    Developed innovative programming at the 2003 and 2004 PDCA National Conventions, which have included 2 multi-day “Craftsmen at Work” demonstrations, 2 Paint Museums sponsored by Wooster. Brush showcasing artifacts of our industry’s past and, lastly, a demonstration by the “Next Generation at Work”, where children developed oversized sample boards of how they will redecorate their bedrooms. The Craftsmanship Forum is responsible for developing significant programming at every PACE Convention
  • Conferences
    Organized the annual Craftsmanship Conferences to advance the development of Standards and facilitate the sharing of craftsmen’s tools, tips and tricks since 2002!
  • Website
    Created the Forum’s web site (www.pdcamasterpainter.com)
  • Master Painter Skill Standard and Testing
    A Committee of the Forum has been at work developing the Skill Standard for a Master Painter. The Forum has identified the portion of that Skill Standard which is common to all painters. The Forum is in the process of developing a test for the Level 1 of the Standard. Before being recognized as a Master Painter, any painter will have to pass the Level 1 Core Test, and a Level 2 Test in their particular specialty, such as Residential, Commercial etc. The Level 2 test will be specific to the specialty of the painter. The Standard will be designed so that it is attainable by 5% to 8% of painters. This work of the Forum involves the contributions of PDCA members from all sectors of our industry, and from different geographical areas, including Europe.
  • Fundraising
    The Forum raised about $50,000 in 2 years, through different means, to finance the development of the programs described above. Corporate Sponsors have included Benjamin Moore, Coronado, Zinsser, XIM, Modern Masters, Flood, Paint Pro Magazine and Wooster Brush as mentioned earlier.

Who We Serve

  • PDCA Member companies who want to raise the status and standards of the industry.
  • Companies who want to improve the productivity, quality and education of their workforce

Our Values

  • Recognition of excellence
  • Knowledge and skill improves quality and productivity
  • Standards that create a path for development
  • Respect for those who do each aspect of the trade

Results we are committed to:


  • Attract and retain a motivated and inspired workforce
  • Painting contractors adopt the practice of using SOPs to standardize the painting operations of their companies
  • Integrate an internal workforce and development path, providing superior training and educational opportunity
  • Objectively assess skill and practice in hiring and provide continuous employment
  • Know and follow a defined path of development to mastery
  • Experience enhanced marketability for contracts and skilled employees due to the availability of broad competent skill across diverse disciplines
  • Participate in a community of shared values regarding professionalism and mastery of the disciplines

    Painters and Craftspeople

    • Know and follow a defined path of development to mastery
    • Challenge themselves to continuous improvement
    • Value and respect each aspect of the trade and the people who perform those task
    • Demonstrate competency across multiple disciplines
    • Experience a high demand for competence, able to be selective about which jobs or employers they work for
    • Enjoy a higher status in society, evidenced by increases income and quality of life
    • Show a passion and pride in the profession