Rocky Mountain Council PDCA

Industry Standards

The PDCA Industry Standards define what constitutes the proper, or more specifically, professional way of doing things in our industry, and provide communication of these standards to the general public.  They remove the “veil of secrecy” that so often exists between an industry and the public. By making clear to consumers the terms and understandings by which an industry’s members communicate with the public and each other, the opportunities for confusion and disagreements are substantially diminished.

PDCA seeks to make the painting and decorating industry less opaque both to those who work within it and to those who invest in its services. Standards are organized into seven sections: (1) scope, (2) significance and use, (3) reference documents and standards, (4) definitions, (5) standard specification, (6) comments, and (7) disclaimer of liability. They cover a range of issues that often become the subject of misunderstandings or contract disputes and provide guidance for both the contractor and the layman.

Comments or questions regarding the Standards or their interpretation should be addressed to the Chairman of the Standards Committee at PDCA headquarters.

Visit to download your free copy of the standards.

PDCA Standards

  • PDCA Standard P1 establishes criteria for determining a properly painted surface, defines touch up and repair, and determines which party to an agreement should bear the financial responsibility for such work.
  • PDCA Standard P2 establishes criteria for determining the qualifications and responsibilities of third parties charged with conducting inspections of coatings application work performed by painting and decorating contractors, as well as the procedures to be followed by inspectors in the performance of their duties. The establishment of “inspection hold points” by all parties to the agreement is an important part of this standard.
  • PDCA Standard P3 describes the impact on the costs associated with and time required to complete a project as the number and placement of paint colors and types of finishes grow. The standard is intended to provide guidance in those instances where the number and placement of paint colors and color ranges are either not specified in the bid documents or are unclear.
  • PDCA Standard P4 establishes criteria for determining which of the parties to an agreement has responsibility for inspecting and approving surfaces prior to their being painted or decorated.
  • PDCA Standard P5 establishes a procedure for the submission and approval of benchmark samples which will serve to determine achievable quality from specified preparation, paint and coating systems.
  • PDCA Standard P6 establishes criteria for determining the acceptance of completed wallcovering installations and defines the responsibilities of the parties to an agreement.
  • PDCA Standard P7 establishes criteria for the order of work performed by various parties on a construction project as it relates to the efficient and successful completion of painting and decorating work. The cost impacts of variations from a prescribed schedule are discussed.
  • PDCA Standard PB establishes the contracting entity’s responsibility maintenance of painted and coated surfaces and prescribes procedures and financial responsibilities for inspecting and repainting previously painted surfaces that have since become aesthetically less pleasing in appearance.
  • PDCA Standard P9 defines terms commonly used to describe work to be performed by painting and decorating contractors in the routine and ordinary course of their duties. This standard clarifies the work scope and responsibilities of the painting and decorating contractor.
  • PDCA Standard P10 prescribes a methodology for measuring surfaces for estimating & bidding painting & decorating work.
  • PDCA Standard P11 defines painter’s caulk to determine its suitability and establish its placement whether delineated, implied and/or not referenced in the specifications for painting.
  • PDCA Standard P12 establishes consistent procedures for the specification of block filling and the application of block filler prior to painting paint grade smooth face concrete masonry units.
  • PDCA Standard P13 the inspection and acceptance of architectural paints on the interior surfaces of structures when dry film thickness is specified.
  • PDCA Standard P14 levels of surface preparation for repainting and maintenance projects receiving architectural coatings.
  • PDCA Standard P15 establishes procedures for the evaluation of shop primer applied by an entity other than the painting and decorating contractor, including, but not limited to siding and other architectural features.
  • PDCA Standard P16 assigns responsibilities to the various entities involved when wallcovering is removed by an entity other than the painting and decorating contractor in preparation for painting.
  • PDCA Standard P17 assigns responsibilities to the various entities involved with smooth face tilt-up is field painted.
  • PDCA Standard P18 defines criteria for the documentation of extra work to a contract for painting and decorating.
  • PDCA Standard P19 defines the field of Decorative Finishing.
  • PDCA Standard P20 establishes procedures for the close out of painting and decorating projects.
  • PDCA Standard P21 establishes consistent procedures for the specification of stain and clear coating on new interior wood surfaces.
  • PDCA Standard P22 establishes consistent procedures for the specification of utilizing pressurized water to clean surfaces or prepare surfaces for painting.
  • PDCA Standard P23 clarifies the scope of work by identifying typical common items that are not implied to be a part of the Painting and Decorating Contractors work unless explicitly referenced in the specification or contract documents for painting or finishing.
  • PDCA Standard P24 establishes procedures for the inspection and acceptance of spot repairs made to existing finishes.

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