To schedule your application please contact Wendy Grosenbach at: 303-995-0426 



To meet the demand of Architects and Interior Designers’ search for qualified Decorative Painters, the PDPA has developed this application. Every Decorative Painter can present their qualifications to be published in the Directory of Decorative Painters. Everyone has an opportunity to go through the examination process to ensure that their qualifications are the most accurate that they can be. This ensures that members are matched with the proper clients and projects. By applying, you will become a qualified member in the PDPA and your contact information and updated score per subject is added to the directory. This directory is distributed as a benefit to our industry partners of Architects and Interior Designers to reference when they are seeking out qualified professionals to work on their projects.

Application & membership

PDPA membership is exclusive for applicants only. To become a PDPA member, candidates must purchase the application, complete all sections of the application and return the materials to be reviewed by a volunteer committee of Architects and Interior Designers. The committee will be reviewing your application and providing you with a score for seven subjects; Business, Color, Visual Textures, Textures, Mimicry, Ornamentation and Murals. The application fee is $450 and includes the application box itself, shipping expenses and administration fees. First time applicants receive their first year of PDPA membership, valued at $245, for free.

Applying and receiving the application

Once the candidate has signed up and paid for the application, the PDPA sends via certified mail a box containing the timed application, consisting of a written portion assessing knowledge, panels to be painted proving skill and a USB to add evidence of work. The applicant must complete all tasks in their entirety to the best of their ability and return the application for review within 30 days.


This is not a test. Qualification is a way for applications present their already acquired qualifications. Current skills are reviewed by a PDPA review committee and given a placement score using the PDPA levels assessment system, developed in 2008. The purpose of this is so that you will be matched with the right clients and the right projects for your specialization and type of professional practice. The PDPA uses the levels assessment standards for the seven subjects in three separate ways: Proof of work, Skills, and Knowledge. Applicants can be awarded a maximum score of 6 in each of the 7 subjects in all 3 manners of testing. Specialist can chose to only show their qualifications in the subjects they wish to. A maximum score of 42 in any single subject can be acquired and a maximum score of 126 overall.


Acceptance and benefit

After the application has been finalized, the applicant is granted Membership into the PDPA. The now qualified PDPA member’s contact information is added to the Directory of Professional Decorative painters, accompanied by their level and scores in all 7 subjects separate and in aggregate. In order to maintain current contact information in the Directory, the member must be committed to improving their score over time and keep their PDPA membership in good standing. The PDPA Directory is distributed to Architects and Interior Designers throughout the United States and is updated annually.

Exact results


Included with the results of their application, PDPA members will be provided with the details of their scores and specific recommendations for improvement. Members will then be eligible to reapply in 12 months to improve their score.

Enclosed in the application box:

16 page written exam • 25 blank 11”x15” panels for painting exam samples • 2 pieces of blank parchment for renderings and drawings • 1 USB with empty folders to be filled • 10 extra panels for color swatches • 2 pieces of extra parchment for sketches

Application Instructions:

Candidates must answer the written questions on the application and complete the painted samples specific to each subject within 30 days of receiving it. Each blank card is labeled on the back and must be used for that section of the application. There is no substituting panels; the painting you submit must be painted on the designated panel. Fill the box with as much as you can. Notes for each panel must be written on the back. Return the written application, all painted samples, drawings and additional items to the PDPA within 30 days. Candidate’s application will be reviewed by the PDPA Review Committee and results will be sent to the candidate in a letter within one month’s time after it is received.


• This application must be performed by the Candidate personally, even if Candidate is representing a business.

• It is strongly recommended that Candidates include all of the items used to complete the application; i.e. draw down cards of color swatches, sketches, notes, reference photos, stencils, transfers, pounces, and composition components.

• Candidates may photograph their progress and add the images onto the USB provided in the folder titled Application Progress photos.

Folders on the USB to be filled by applicant:

Business • Color • Visual Textures and Color Glazing • Visual Textures and Color Glazing projects • Textures and Surfaces • Texture and Surface projects • Mimicry • Mimicry projects • Ornamentation • Ornamentation projects • Mural projects • Reference photos •

Application progress pictures


• Who is reviewing my qualifications ? A: A volunteer committee of Architects and Interior Designers

• How are they reviewing my application? A: According to the PDPA 2008 Assessment Standards

• What is the standard? The current highest scored work at the time of the review.

• Who are the PDPA partners? AIA, ASID, ICAA, IIDA

• How will the list of qualified Decorative Painters be published? A: The list will be published in the form of a printed directory.

• Where will the directory be distributed? The directory will be sent to every licensed architect and every interior designer in the United States.

• What is the benefit for me? A: You will be recognized for your proficiency and rewarded in the form of job leads via advertising through our partners.

• What subjects are covered in the application? A: Business, Color, Visual Textures, Textures, Mimicry, Ornamentation and Murals.

• How much time will the application take? A: This depends entirely on your skill level but count on it taking 2-6 days.

• Is there a deadline for the application? A: Yes. The application must be returned within 30 days.

• Why is there a time limit on the application? A: To prove your proficiency and speed of work.

• How often are applications reviewed? A: Currently the Review committee convenes quarterly

• How much does the application cost? A: $450

• Where does the money go? A: Fees cover the cost of producing, shipping and processing the application.

• Where is my application kept? A: Your application box is held in an archive at the PDPA headquarters.

• Who has access to my score? A: Anyone who has a copy of the directory, which is distributed at no cost to licensed Architects, Designers and building contractors. The directory is available to the general public for a fee.