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Our Certification Program creates a climate for the improvement of painting skills and provides members with a recognition of excellence.
The Society of Decorative Painters' Certification Program provides an opportunity for members to submit work to be judged for Certification, a personal achievement that hundreds of individuals seek each year. The three levels of Certification are listed below.
Accredited Decorative Painter
Members who apply to complete the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) Certification are given a choice of painting either a Still Life or Stroke design. The applicant may enter only one design in any judging year.
Certified Decorative Artist
Members who apply to complete the Certified Decorative Artist (CDA) Certification are given a choice of painting either a Still Life or Stroke design. The applicant may enter only one design in any judging year.
Master Decorative Artist
Members who apply to complete the Master Decorative Artist (MDA) Certification must submit pieces in a Still Life, Stroke, and Floral design for judging. The applicant does not need to enter nor pass all three pieces in the same year.
Steps to Certification
Members may start with either the ADP and/or CDA Certification. The CDA Certification must be successfully completed in order to qualify for application to MDA Certification.
An official application must be completed, signed and sent with payment to: Society of Decorative Painters, 7450 S Seneca St Suite B, Haysville, KS 67060.
The order form and fees for the Official Certification Kit may be sent at the same time or ordered at a later date after an applicant reviews the Certification Portfolio. There is an application fee each year a member submits to participate.
Upon receipt of the application and fees, an applicant number will be assigned and sent with the Certification Portfolio.
Use of the surface in the Official Certification Kit is required. One kit must be used for each piece entered. If an applicant has a surface from a previous year, and wishes to use it, it is still necessary to complete an application to obtain a current Certification Portfolio and applicant number.
Each entry must be submitted on the surface provided in the Official Certification Kit, except that the applicant may substitute a wooden or masonite panel of the same dimension inside the frame provided. With the MDA Still Life design, it is required that a wooden panel be used. With the MDA Stroke design, the tray may be used if you have one, but a regular kit is also acceptable. For more details, see the “Instructions for Applicants” included in the Certification Portfolio.
Adhere to all time deadlines. An applicant must purchase the Certification Portfolio no later than 12 weeks prior to the deadline for submission. Completed entries must not arrive earlier than 8 weeks nor later than 2 weeks prior to the deadline. Deadlines vary each year, so refer to the letter enclosed in the Certification Portfolio for exact dates. All applicants must send the mail back fee to SDP no less than 4 weeks prior to the deadline.
If you have questions about the Certification Program, email
or call (316) 269-9300.