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Industry Specifications

MPI is dedicated to the establishment of quality standards and quality assurance in the architectural painting and coating application industries. This organization also provides information on ‘green’ standards ( and mold.

Guidelines for a Successful Construction Project – Provided by the American Subcontractors Associations, and the Associated Specialty Contractors

PCA Industry Standards:

  • Provide the measure by which the quality of wall coating work can be evaluated by the consumer.
  • Protect the contractor by establishing limits on the extent and verifiable uniformity of a project.
  • Protect the consumer by requiring work that is free from defects, deficiencies and significant variations of coating applications.
  • Save contractors time and money when used and referenced in painting work bids and contracts.

The Standards discuss a range of issues that commonly become the subject of misunderstandings, or in extreme cases, contract disputes and provide guidance for both the contractor and the layman concerning how such differences can best be avoided.

All participants in the architectural, engineering, design, construction, and painting & wall-covering industry benefit from the use and circulation of the PCA Industry Standards. All consumers benefit from the use of PCA Standards by those they contract with, to provide the best value for their painting and decorating expenditures.


PCA 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.
PCA 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 are an important part of this standard.
PCA 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.
PCA 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.
PCA 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.
PCA Standard P6 establishes criteria for determining the acceptance of completed wallcovering installations and defines the responsibilities of the parties to an agreement.
PCA 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 impact of variations from a
prescribed schedule are discussed.
PCA Standard P8 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.
PCA 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.
PCA Standard P10 prescribes a methodology for measuring surfaces for estimating& bidding painting & decorating work.
PCA 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.
PCA 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.
PCA Standard P13 the inspection and acceptance of architectural paints on the interior surfaces of structures when dry film thickness is specified.
PCA Standard P14 levels of surface preparation for repainting and maintenance projects receiving architectural coatings.
PCA 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.
PCA 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.
PCA Standard P17 assigns responsibilities to the various entities involved with smooth face tilt-up is field painted.
PCA Standard P18 defines criteria for the documentation of extra work to a contract for painting and decorating.
PCA Standard P19 defines the field of Decorative Finishing.
PCA Standard P20 establishes procedures for the close out of painting and decorating projects.
PCA Standard P21 establishes consistent procedures for the specification of stain and clear coating on new interior wood surfaces.
PCA Standard P22 establishes consistent procedures for the specification of utilizing pressurized water to clean surfaces or prepare surfaces for painting.
PCA Standard P23 identifies 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.
PCA Standard P24 establishes procedures for the inspection and acceptance of spot repairs made to existing finishes.
PCA Standard P25 establishes a fair and reasonable allowance for the repair and correction of damage to surfaces finished by the painting and decorating contractor. Clarifies the amount of reasonable damage repair painting included in the painting and decorating contractor’s bid.

Updated 2023 – more updates to come

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