Adjust multiple parts of an imported component simultaneously


Good day all,

I have imported a model of a machine from a different software using a .step extension. The model is very detailed, and I need to change the overall colour. I attach a screen shot of one tiny part of the model, to show what I am trying to do.

I was able to change a large amount of the colour of the piece of machinery in one go, through this process:
Edit component > right click > select > all with same material > spill bucket > apply. However lots of sections remain un-painted, and won’t work thought the same method.

How can I “force select” multiple areas of this model at once and apply the same new blue colour?

If you need any more information in order to provide suggestions please say. New ish to sketchup. First community post! Many thanks indeed for your support.


This extension might be useful for you: Material Replacer


Thank you! I will look into it.


Hi Loz,

It’s quite difficult to answer your question that way. If I well understood, every entity that already have a material applied have been recolored the way you want but the problem is for the others entities with the default color, right ?

If yes did your had a look into the outliner the way the model is built. What I’m saying is if groups are well combined it can be easy either it will be painfull.

Can you share your model and give some exemple of what still needs to be done ?


Hello Milmandre, thanks for taking the time to write.

The model is of a new product which unfortunately I cannot release a drawing of due to permissions.

I can try to elaborate, I shall send another screen shot of the whole machine.

I am, as mentioned, new to sketchup, so am not 100% sure of quickest methods.

The machines default colours were red and yellow

. I need to make it blue. I have been exploding items and simply spill canning the model, panel by panel, surface by surface, which as you can imagine is very time consuming. You can see how far I got but of course when you zoom in there are more and more details that remain the default colour. There must be a way to force grab by dragging the select tool, so that i can apply a spill bucket of paint to all the surfaces at once?

Thank you very much


The easiest thing may have been to just edit the existing colors to suit. You don’t need to explode groups to paint the faces. Open them for editing and paint the faces. Then close them by clicking out in space.


I was only exploding a few surfaces that wouldnt work, but, generally, I was having to double click each tiny surface to select it before spill painting. Even with keyboard short cuts for select tool and paint tool, this was very painful.

The model behaves strangely perhaps due to the .stp import? I can’t select lots of things at once to paint.

I hope that makes sense, cheers.


Often one of the easiest solutions is to delete the material used in the component from the model. This unpaints all faces and then you can paint the component from the outside as a whole.


That’s very interesting

How does one go about this?



I was pretty sure that would be your answer :wink:

Ok I think I get it. When you get into a group, make a triple clic on a face and that will select all the connected entities to the face in that group, then you can apply your color to all the selected connected entities.

The other solution is to apply a color to a group, then all the entities with the default material inside the group will get your color unless they have a specific color defined individually.

I think it should do the job


Could you tell me more about applying colour to a group? Nothing, is working! No entities seem to be connected.



Yes sure, here is an exemple of how to set material to all faces of a group or to the group itself. But I’m suprised that faces aren’t connected, if they are in a same group and are sharing verticesposition Sketchup merge them automatically. This is a user friendly behaviour but not a 3d natural behavior that can lead easily to non manifold meshes.

TO THE GOUP ENTITIES (ie Using tripple clic in group)


Look after each exemple the material applied to the faces and the group which is different in each case.


if I want to change all items of a single color on a mac…



Thank you so much for your time both.

I have drawn components from scratch before and coloured them using such techniques as you demonstrated with those great videos.

However this component and its entities aren’t behaving in a way you would like, everything is separated.

So in other words, drawing something inside sketchup and colouring it I am fine with, but trying to re-material an imported model just isn’t working how I’d expect.

Will keep head scratching but if you think of anything it would be massively appreciated to hear your thoughts again.




I totally understand, but I’m sure you’re missing something

Assuming that SU automerge geometry inside a group or at the model root, if you explode your group/component until all the geometry that should be combined is merged, then you can goup/make component again of the merged geometry and apply your material and you’re done.

I’m sorry you couldn’t share your model cause I’m pretty sure there is a simple solution to your problem. What you can maybe do is sharing a sreenshot of one piece with its outliner hierarchy just to make sure I’m not misunderstanding your problem :wink:


Use Thomthom’s Material tools to remove all materials from your model. Then select all and paint.


post a screenshot of your ‘In Model’ materials list in the Color Palette…

unless there are copies for each item, my method should work…

or are you using ‘Color by Layer’?



Im certainly missing something!

I think there has to be something wrong with the automerging? No matter what I try, I can’t select all the surfaces as if they were joined and apply material.

Yess indeed, would be far easier for me if I could share.

I shall attach a video if I get a minute!

Thanks for your patience!


I havent been using colour by layer John, no.

This is a design for an exhibition stand which a repeat of one I drew last year, but with a different exhibit machine. Last years stand was my first time using sketchup. So, this year, when sent the new exhibit for this years stand, I imported it, then simply went about “colouring it in”… obviously fairly badly. Well, the end result will be OK, because I then export the whole drawing into a lighting design software (my real job), where it loses some detail. The streaks of old colours that I will have missed by using this gruelling method of filling each tiny face, won’t actually show when in the lighting design render. However, I am a perfectionist, and of course like everyone else, I want to know the right way and the quickest way!



Just in case you missed my post, here I have 3 different forms of geometry. Raw, grouped and face painted, and group painted.