The Painting and Decorating Contractors of America traces its history to 1884 when it was established by a group of contractors. The first name of PDCA was the “Master House Painters’ Association of the United States and Canada”. It came into legal existence in New York City on January 15, 1885 for the specific purpose of attacking industry abuses and to remedy a defective apprentice system, to solve problems created by unsatisfactory materials, and to devise a means for assuring the public of the “skill, honorable reputation, and probity” of master painters.
In 1890, the name was changed to “The Master House Painters and Decorators’ Association of the United States of America”. In 1903, “and Canada” was restored to the name and in 1904, the title was further amplified to read “International Association of Master House Painters and Decorators”. Later, the Toronto Association was admitted to membership. At Richmond, Virginia, in 1903, it was voted to hold the 20th convention in Toronto, Canada at which time a Canadian Association was organized. For the next 30 years, the Canadian representatives were most active in the affairs of the International Association, with two of them being elected to the Presidency. The Canadian affiliation was ended with great regret on both sides of the border in 1933, due to legal complexities of the Association’s sponsorship of the National Code Authority in the FDR Administration.
On June 4, 1928, under the laws of the state of Illinois PDCA was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. In 1928, the name was again changed, this time to the “Master Painters and Decorators, Incorporated.” On March 8, 1937, at the annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, the name was changed from the “Master Painters and Decorators, Incorporated” to the current Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA).
The principal offices were formerly located in New York City and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in June 1954, the headquarters were transferred to Chicago, Illinois. In 1975, PDCA moved the headquarters to Falls Church, VA, and in 1989, PDCA moved again to Fairfax City, VA. The current headquarters is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
In 2019, the association officially implemented the name Painting Contractors Association (PCA), instead of PDCA to better align with the mission and remain relevant in the industry.