Donna Rubin Design

PDCA Convention

Every so often its nice to take a break and re-connect with some colleagues and get inspired by some new ideas and materials. October 16th-17th I attended the 60th Annual Convention and Trade show of the Middle Atlantic Council of the Painting and Decorating Contractors Of America. (That’s a mouthful)! It’s better known as the MAC/PDCA.  I used to attend this convention regularly, and was even an officer of the Decorative Artists chapter in our region for a few years. Now I attend when it is local, as it was this year, in West Orange at the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Thursday there were seminars all day, and Friday was the trade show. I didn’t take advantage of the dinners and shows since I am local and wasn’t staying at the hotel.

My program and name tag.

My program and name tag.

Of course I went to the seminars on the “Decorative Track” versus the ones mainly for General Painting Contractors. Two of them were given by long-time colleagues of mine. Dean Sickler gave a seminar on Color: how it works with light, how the spectrums are broken up, how colors relate and play off of each other, and how to make color corrections with paint and pigments.

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Dean Sickler’s seminar on “How Color Works”


Andre Martinez gave a seminar on Decorative Textures for Fun and Profit, and explained the Proceed line of materials and how to market the exclusivity of your work.

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Andre Martinez’s seminar on Decorative Textures


Aliya Riaz, also a long-time colleague spoke about Gilding and Gold leaf from an international historic perspective. At the Trade Show on Friday she demonstrated some Gilding techniques.

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Aliya Riaz led a Gilding and Metal Leaf seminar, and demonstrated some techniques


There was also a lunch-and-learn seminar, given by Ross O’Neal who described his 12-year long restoration project at the Oaks Cloister, built in 1900 by Joseph Huston in Germantown PA. No photos, I was busy eating,  meeting new contacts and catching up with old friends while watching his presentation!

The trade Show on Friday was fun. I got to play around with some new products in the demonstration area, visit with my friends from Dundean at their booth, watch a demonstration on paintbrush construction (by hand!) at Purdy, check in with Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and other distributors of paints, brushes, rollers, tapes, and other supplies.

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Me, with Julia and Andrea Sickler of Dundean Studios

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My sample board as I experimented with Proceed’s rough plaster medium.


Just a few of the goodies I dumped from my bag when I got home!


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Decorative Painting, Murals & Wall Finishes in NJ