Can't apply materials to component

Usually when I create a component I can later use the materials bucket to paint the entire component in one click. But once I have been messing with a model for awhile, I run into a situation where the bucket no longer works on the component, and I have to open the component and paint each surface individually. I have tried exploding the component and re-creating it, but it doesn’t fix the problem. I will try to upload an example. The white component will not accept the paint bucket, but the red component will.

example1.skp (114.6 KB)

Materials on faces override materials you apply to the component wrapper. Open the component and apply the default material to the faces. Then the material you apply to the wrapper will show.

He’s a simple example of what Dave is talking about.
Because the red square has been painted while the component is open for edit, nothing you paint on from the outside will change it, whereas the surround will change with whatever you add.
This method is often used for things like chairs for example, you can have all the legs and structure textured as wood, but the upholstery can easily be altered.

Your paint difficulty stems from whether the faces you’re trying to paint are displaying Group/Component material attributes or Individual Face material attributes.

Keep Entity Info Open as you’re modeling to investigate and understand what you’re working with.

Paint Bucket behavior can become somewhat confusing when there is a mixture of default material faces and painted faces within the context of a group.
It’s good practice to avoid painting a group from the outside, unless you’re certain you want all the faces within its context to display just one color with no texture.

A Face has two material attributes.
A Face has a front side and a backside and each side has its own individual material attribute.
The visible parts of a model should have their faces oriented such that the front side is the visible side.
View the model in Monochrome Face Style to check face orientation. White = Front Blue = Back
You can easily flip face orientation. Right context click on a face > Reverse Faces

Groups have one material attribute.
When a group is painted from outside its context, all the default material faces within the context of the group display the group’s material attribute.
However, even though those faces display the group material, their individual material attributes are still the default material.
They are merely displaying the material attribute of the group that contains them.
You can determine this by viewing their material attributes in the Entity Info box.

Conversely, a face that has been painted with a material other than the default material while working inside (within the editing context) of a group will always display its individual material attributes, regardless of the material attribute of the group that contains it.
Thus, painting a group from outside its context will not change the material displayed by those faces that were painted while working within the group’s context.
Hence, you must Open the Group for Editing to work with those faces.

Open the Materials browser and the Entity Info dialog box. Those are the best tools for sorting things out. Entity Info displays the material attributes of the selected entity. You can easily edit a selected entity’s material attributes by clicking on the material thumbnail image in the Entity Info box whereas the Materials browser offers broader control over all materials in the model.

Thank you! I eventually figured it out myself, but I think this might help some other newbies. Plus, all of your explanations added some valuable insight for me into how to keep this whole component thing straight in my mind.