The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 61, Number 3
Summer, 2006

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Apprentice School Paints Kids Ward

Apprentice Painters Group Photo
PDC14 Secretary-Treasurer Terry Fitzmaurice joined St. Anthony's Hospital staff, Instructor Mike Krawiec, and his crew of Apprentice painters at the project in July.

This Summer, the JATC Apprentice School fielded daily squads of energetic young Apprentices to St. Anthony's at 19th and Sacramento on the South Side . . . a little hospital in dire need of work on the Pediatric Section. Fifteen rooms were prepared and painted there in July, supervised by Instructor Mike Krawiec, including some very creative graphic murals for the kids to admire and enjoy while they get well.

Now, Phase II of the project is being planned, to follow through with similar improvements planned to freshen up the hospital's needy Radiology Section. Work will commence on the second part during August, with some financial support from the Contractor's Industry Advancement Fund. PDCA Associate members are invited to participate with donations of materials and tools!

Applying Venetian Plaster Professor Paint

Jeff Hester appeared as "Professor Paint" on the WGN-TV News At Noon show on August 1st with a demonstration on applying the Venetian Plaster finish. At this writing, we are trying to obtain the clip for our web site. Meanwhile, here is the text of Jeff Hester's (make that Professor Paint's) four minutes of fame . . .

Supplies: primer, plaster, trowel, taping pan for holding plaster.

  1. Walls must be prepared and patched . . . smooth and free of cracks. Prime with a quality oil primer (tint to match the color of the Venetian plaster). Let dry 5 hours
  2. Liberally apply 1st coat of plaster using a lot of movement with the trowel to create desired texture. Let dry 5 hours.
  3. Apply 2nd coat, pulling with the trowel to achieve full, tight coverage. Leave only enough excess plaster on the wall to fill in any voids in the texture created by Step 2. Let dry 5 hours.
  4. Apply 3rd (and final) coat; pulling with the trowel to achieve a totally smooth surface. Let dry 5 hours and enjoy!


  • Prepare a sample board and hold it up to your walls to make sure you like it before tackling an entire room.
  • Preparation is key! Make sure your walls are smooth and choose a high quality oil primer. Take your time with Step 1 . . . it really can make all the difference in your final result.
  • The 1st coat of plaster is the most important. Make sure you use a lot of variance in this step. Once you're done with that, the hardest part is over! Steps 2 and 3 are just filling in your voids and pulling off the surface completely to create a smooth surface.
  • Have fun with it . . . there is no right or wrong result.
  • Venetian plaster is a wonderfully versatile product. It's perfect for toy rooms, foyers and other high-traffic areas because it is very durable and easy to touch up. You can also make it fun and colorful, or change colors and dress it up to fit a more formal living room, dining room, powder room or master bedroom.
Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

Let's begin this installment with a hopelessly chauvinistic bit of trivia. Did you know that, many years ago in Scotland, when a new game was being invented, it was ruled “Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden” . . . and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language?

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This is hard to believe, but true. The percentage of Africa that is wilderness is 28%. The percentage of North America that is wilderness is 38%!

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Mark Twain was fascinated with new technology, so it makes sense that the first novel ever written on a typewriter was “Tom Sawyer.” Reportedly, Twain spent over $300.00 for his typewriter, which puts it in a league with buying a computer to do your writing today.

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You might guess that states having big cities would have more residents walking to work . . . like New York or even Illinois. Nevertheless, the State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work is really Alaska. If you live in a cabin, on a lake, and are a trapper . . . .

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Each king in a deck of playing cards represents one of the great kings from history:

♠ Spades - King David
♥ Hearts - Charlemagne
♣ Clubs - Alexander, the Great
♦ Diamonds - Julius Caesar

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Here's something to consider the next time you're parked on a bench down in Grant Park and looking up at old Ulysses astride his horse. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, that person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, that person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, then that person just died of natural causes. You see, there are many ways to construe the sobriquet, “He died in action.”

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Here's where the better half get some revenge for our first item of the day. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in common? Why, they were all invented by women, of course!

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Only two people actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 . . . John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed the document on August 2nd, but the last signature wasn't added until a full five years later.

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Way back when, it was the accepted practice in Babylon some 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his new son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is, of course, a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar-based, this period came to be termed “the honey month,” which became corrupted over time into what we know today as the honeymoon.

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In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled to snug up the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep upon. Hence came the phrase, “Goodnight, sleep tight!”

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Now, this is a really cool idea! The next time you come home for the night and go to put your keys away, consider this: You are holding in your hand a portable security alarm system that can be used at home and requires no further installation . . . if the key fob for remote ocking includes a “panic” button. Just start keeping your car keys next to your bed on the night stand when you go to bed at night. If you think someone is trying to get into your house, or even if you hear a noise outside your house, just press that red panic alarm on your car key chain. Test it! It should go off from almost anywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset the button on the key fob chain to silence the alarm.

If your car alarm goes off loudly when someone really is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar or rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds of racket, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there, and no criminal in his right mind wants that. Just be sure to try yours to make sure it works before you rely on it, and practice how to press the alarm button again to turn it off. You can derive extra protection in parking lots and ramps as well, by carrying your keys with your thumb on that little red button while walking to your car . . . .

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“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with pleasure.”
-- Clarence Darrow

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“I didn't attend the funeral, but sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
-- Mark Twain



Jay Weaver Photo

By Jay Weaver, Executive Director Of Industry Services,Finishing Contractors Association

Blue Bullet H.R.4 (the Pension Protection Act) holds the Senate/House conference report language that was negotiated for H.R.2830, containing all the necessary provisions that our Coalition fought to ensure the future health of our multiemployer pension funds. H.R.2830, however, got sidetracked with last-minute amendments (i.e., estate tax reduction, minimum wage increase, and tax extenders). This Congressional tactic is business as usual as the Congressional parties and individual members maneuver their special interest deals. In short, it appears that we have become a pawn in Congressional politics, with pension reform held hostage to the estate tax reduction and minimum wage increase riders. The Senate is expected to adjourn for summer recess by August 4, so our fate remains unknown at this writing.

Blue Bullet Republicans have urged removal of Davis-Bacon Language from the Senate's Immigration Bill (S.2611). The Republican Policy Committee is recommending removal of provisions from the bill to revise Federal immigration law requiring payment of prevailing wages to foreign workers holding new temporary guestworker visas on private construction projects.

Blue Bullet The Department of Labor has released Pension 2006 Form 5500. The DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration has provided advance information copies of the 2006 Form 5500 Annual Report with Instructions. If pension reform legislation is enacted, further guidance will be issued (for more information visit the web ( The DOL's final rule requires electronic filing of Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan for plan years beginning on/after January 1, 2008). Also released was a notice of proposed revisions, including schedules and attachments, as well as a proposed Short Form 5500

Blue Bullet OSHA has issued a Directive regarding construction targets for inspection. OSHA stated that a directive on how it conducts programmed inspections for construction sites has become a
stand-alone instruction titled CPL 02-00-141 (Inspection Scheduling for Construction). Visit under "Directives" for full information. The OSHA targeting system uses F.W. Dodge reports on construction projects that are 30-60% complete (initially for projects above $950,000) to produce a set of monthly random inspection lists.

Blue Bullet Canadian Construction Employers face a tight labor market. Reports released by the Construction Sector Council indicate that tight markets for skilled construction trades will remain the norm in the western provinces of Canada due to demographic trends that limit both the growth of the Canadian population and the labor force. As in the U.S., lobbying groups in Canada are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reform Canadian immigration policies to ease entry for foreign construction workers.

Blue Bullet The Department of Labor has added more organizations to its Drug-Free Plan. The DOL has expanded its original Drug-Free Workplace Alliance in the construction industry by adding four building trade unions (including the IUPAT) and five associations. These organizations have been recognized by the DOL as "committed to preventing worksite drug or alcohol use."

Blue Bullet New Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) wages and benefits are on the rise. The Construction Labor Research Council reports that first-year wage/benefit increases negotiated so far in 2006 within new construction CBA's average $1.74/hour or 4.6% compared with $1.58/hour or 4.1% in 2005. About two-thirds of the new Contracts have terms of three or more years with higher average increases also found in the second and third years.

For more information, visit:

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Golf Outing Photos

The 2006 Chicago PDCA/FCA Golf Outing was widely proclaimed the best event in years, as the Association enjoyed fresh surroundings at Bloomingdale Golf Club and the fairest weather in many a moon. Sunny, dry weather on June 16th graced the Chicago PDCA/FCA Golf Outing. Comfortable morning breezes warmed as the outing progressed. One hundred thirty-seven reservations ensured a full course of players enjoying their round of golf and participating in contests and games along the way. Honors for Low Gross went to the M. A. B. foursome of Phil Hayes, Roy Dennis, Stu Beam, and Jim Beam. Also honored was the Am-Coat foursome of Tom Tyrakowski, Tom Tyrakowski, Jr., Skip Hankes, and Terry Bobbe (most honest!). Closest-to-the-Pin Contest winners included George Pezza on Hole #6 and Jim Beam on Hole #11. Al Gramer "Hit the Dropcloth" on Hole #12 and won a putter as well as the PDCA dropcloth for his efforts. Longest Putt on Hole #9 winners were Chris Hester (Men's) and Stephanie Perie (Women's). Don Thorne (Men's) and Stephanie Perie (Women's) hit the Longest Drive on Hole #18. Five gentlemen "Split the Pot" on Hole #13 and received $50 apiece. The Accurate Drive Contest on Hole #2 had 16 winners at $15 each. Festivities concluded with Al Vogt holding the winning raffle ticket for a $500 Cash Prize. Congratulations to all . . . and make a note on your 2007 Calendar to attend next year's event on 6/15/07!

Golf Outing Photos
JATC - Completing a Series, Part III -- Apprentice School Training Faculty


The JATC/DFTC training staff is comprised of competent painting, decorating, and drywall finishing professionals who, earlier in their workingcareers, completed training to become Journeymen and worked for years in the field. Now, they focus upon training a new generation of Union professionals.

Jim Watte Photo
Painting & Decorating Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Training

Mr. Watte graduated from the JATC Apprentice Program as Apprentice of the Year in 1977. He worked for 16 years as a Journeyman painter, and, prior to becoming the Painting & Decorating Apprentice Training Coordinator, he served as an Instructor for 16 years at the school. He is a certified National PDCA Wallcovering Consultant, and holds training credentials from the Red Cross, IUPAT, and OSHA.

Mike Krawiec Photo

Mr. Krawiec completed his three-year Apprenticeship and worked for 15 years as a Journeyman painter prior to serving the past seven years as a Specialty Instructor in faux finishes, woodgraining, and marbleizing. His credentials include training certifications from OSHA, IUPAT, Red Cross, and the City of Chicago. He has done ceiling restorations at the Northwestern Medical Library and LaSalle Bank. He holds an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Marshall University.

Jay Kolder Photo

Mr. Kolder graduated from Washburne and worked for 26 years as a Journeyman painter, including 15 years as a Foreman and Assistant Superintendent. Spending 16 months as a Job Corps Instructor for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, he then joined the JATC staff, where he has served as an Instructor for the last six years. He holds trainer certifications from OSHA, NACE, the City of Chicago, IUPAT, and the Red Cross.

Jim Watte Photo
Drywall Finishers Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Training

Mr. Bogdan graduated from the Drywall Finishing program at Washburne in 1985 and worked for 20 years in the field as a Journeyman taper, specializing in commercial work. He holds training certifications from the IUPAT, OSHA, and Ames Taping Tools. He attended the very first Journeyman Upgrading Course conducted by the DFTC in 1993.

Bill Chrusciel Photo

Mr. Chrusciel completed his Apprentice training at Washburne in 1974 and worked for Union contractors 31 years as a Journeyman Painter, including service as a Foreman. He also served for two terms as President of his Union local. His experience includes assignments on Hilton Hotels, Gold Coast mansions, and commercial, industrial, and high-end residential projects. He has served as Treasurer of his local Union since 1990.

Lance McCalla Photo

Mr. McCalla completed his Apprentice training and worked for 17 years as a Journeyman painter, specializing in industrial work. He holds an Associate Degree from Joliet Junior College, and has served as an Instructor for two years. His credentials include IUPAT, Red Cross, NACE, OSHA, SSPC, and City of Chicago certifications.

Office Staff Photo
JATC-DFTC Office Staff



This Fall, Chicago PDCA/FCA will help host the first FCA Regional Conference, planned to be held at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago on September 21-22, 2006.

Thursday meeting plans include a host of informational opportunities focused upon helping the Union Painting & Decorating Contractor understand today's economic, labor, and business environment.

Friday's sessions will focus upon Labor-Management Cooperation, with IUPAT General President James Williams hosting dynamic interactive presentations.


This will truly be a must-attend event for all progressive Union Painting Contractors! We have already mailed detailed Conference brochures to all the Union shops in Chicago, and remain available for telephone inquiries at the National FCA Office.

To attend, contact Angela Hingston-Oliver directly at 1-866/322-3477, or by e-mail at for full Conference information and needed registration materials.


Chicago PDCA was founded in 1933. It grew and matured in the following years to become a combined Council and Chapter of National PDCA, the Painting & Decorating Contractors of America...the largest National Association of Painting and Decorating Contractors.

Through its continuing relationship with National PDCA, contractor members of Chicago PDCA/FCA have access to the finest available resource for managing contracting businesses. For example, the National PDCA Estimating Guide is widely considered the "bible" for preparing job cost estimates. National PDCA has also developed a set of Industry Standards over the years which define the terms and technical conditions which may surround a project, for attachment inclusion with a contractors project documents. Finally, National PDCA regularly conducts educational seminars and provides training opportunities and materials that have proven essential for the benefit of qualified

Painting and Decorating Contractor . . . such as the Contractor College.

The current-day Chicago PDCA/FCA is also aligned as the local affiliate of FCA, the Finishing Contractors Association. National FCA is a more recently established association, entirely comprised of Union Contractor firms.

FCA was born in recent years out of the pressing need for a strictly-Union counterpart Contractor Association on the national and local levels. Through FCA, the Contractor members of Chicago PDCA/FCA have found a new direct relationship with the IUPAT (the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades), which is the parent organization of Painters' District Council No. 14 in Chicago.

Together, these two national affiliations serve our industry in Chicago quite well.


The first six IAF Contributing Contractor Companies to register for Bob Cusumano's September 28-29-30 Estimating Seminar at the Residence Inn in Rosemont will be eligible to receive a $575.00 IAF Rebate on the $1150.00 Registration Fee. Each of the six participating firms may redeem only one IAF Rebate; total attendees are limited only to available class space. Call Coatings Consultants directly at 561/775-7151 for registration materials and class information.


PDCA/FCA By-Laws have been reviewed, discussed, approved, and signed. A summary description of the changes was mailed out to all Contractor Members for review earlier this year. The full text of the new By-Laws is now posted and available for downloading from Chicago PDCA/FCA's web site at: