Master Painter History



Hundreds of years ago, the Master Painter emerged in most countries throughout Europe as the pinnacle of the process whereby a young person (only a young man in those days) would begin the long journey towards the attainment of a 'craft.' He might start as an apprentice, then progress towards 'journeyman'. Only the 'creme de la creme' ascended to the lofty level of Master Craftsman ... in our industry, to the level of Master Painter.

The term Master Painter exists in other continents as well. For example, the counterpart of our Associations in Australia is known as the Master Painters, Decorators, and Signwriters Association of Victoria.

Here in North America, the level of Master Craftsman is not generally available, and the European system of apprenticeship is 'different.' The Master Painter has, however, been a large part of the United States and Canadian painting history.

1885 saw the emergence of the Master House Painters Association of the United States and Canada, based in New York City. It's purpose was "To remedy a defective apprenticeship 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."

  • 1890 - The Master House Painters and Decorators Association of USA
  • 1903 - The Master House Painters and Decorators Association of USA and Canada
  • 1904 - International Association of Master House Painters and Decorators
  • 1911 - The Master Painters & Decorators Association was commenced
  • 1927 - The Master Painters & Decorators Association was incorporated
  • 1928 - International Society of Master House Painters and Decorators
  • 1937 - The Painting & Decorating Contractors of America
  • 1996 - The Master Painters Institute (MPI) was formed.

A number of exceptional people have worked with MPI on the elaboration and continuing development of painting standards.