Deleting painted surface/ Same colour faces


As a newbie, can anyone please tell me how to erase/delete a painted surface without deleting the physical face below ? Also want to know how I can set the faces( front and back) to be the same white colour all the time without having to reverse faces when necessary? Many thanks Ant


Repaint the face with the default material. You can access it by clicking on the “dive flag” button in the upper right corner of the Materials window.

Get in the habit of correcting face orientation. Not doing so can cause you confusion and delay later. I have my back face color set to a color I wouldn’t normally use in my models so it’s easy to see. If you practice clean modeling techniques including keeping face orientation correct as you go, your models will be much easier to work with.


Hello. A painted face is the same as a textured face. To remove texture you can select all your geometry (triple click on it) and click the little ‘Set Material to Default’ button like in the GIF below:

About the second question, SketchUp faces MUST have 2 sides (a question to experts, by the way, why is this so necessary?). Hence it’s best to have 2 default colours for faces, one lighter than the other, to distinguish them. The lighter coloured face is the one that should always face out. You should apply materials/paint to the lighter (front) face only. If you have faces that show their back side (no pun intended, haha), right click and choose ‘Reverse Faces’

If you have many disoriented faces, one way to fix them all is to right click on a correct, front face and choose ‘Orient Faces’.

HINT: Try to avoid texturing groups. Rather put textures on the actual meshes to avoid future confusions.


A somewhat facetious answer: what would a face with only one side be like (sound of one hand clapping). I suppose you could draw it using edges with only one end?


Thank you Dave. That was very helpful. Those were my first questions and if this is how efficient and friendly the forum is that is wonderful! Ant


Think about it this way:

  • A face exists in only 2 dimensions - i.e. on a plane
  • But in SketchUp, we’re looking at it in 3 dimensions. We can position the camera so that it looks like a line (camera in same plane as the face), but most often, our camera isn’t in the plane of the face.
  • When the camera isn’t in the same plane, we are either looking at one “side” of the face or the other “side” of the face.
  • It’s nice to be able to tell the difference!

Also, some people start modeling real world spaces (like houses) using walls, floors, ceilings, etc as faces with no depth. Now put up your favorite paisley wallpaper in the bathroom. Do you really WANT it to also visible from the street?

While this doesn’t address the internals of why faces must have a front and back, it does show some ways that having a front and back are useful!


Thank you for your tip and reply. Very helpful indeed. Ant


Thank you @sjdorst and @slbaumgartner. I was going to ask wouldn’t it be alright if we had 2 front faces instead of 1 front and 1 back but I think I see your point now. If we regard a face as a sheet of paper, I wouldn’t want to see my drawing show up from behind.


My SketchUp model shows a wall
With a Face that isn’t there at all!
It’s there when viewed the other way
I wish it wouldn’t hide that way!