Why can't I use the paint bucket on a component or group?

title pretty much sums it up. mostly. SOMETIMES it lets me paint an object without going into it.

In this case I have an object that shaped like a piece of plywood. Why do I have to open the object and select all before I can paint it another color? Every change I make I have to back out of the component ( worse if nested) to see the how the changes look. then go back into it to make another change.

I don’t understand the reason to not allow the paint bucket to be used on a component.

The paint bucket CAN be used on a component or group wrapper. If it’s already had the faces painted, that material overrides a material painted on the component/group wrapper.

If you paint the wrapper, you give up the option to control the orientation of the material, though. That’s fine for plain colors but for things like wood where the grain direction is usually important, it makes more sense to paint the faces instead of the wrapper.


So paint the whole container first, as a whole, then you can change it all you want. UNTIL you paint a face inside, then you lose control. is that right?

also, how do you change the texture orientation? I have only been able to do that with a plug in.

Also, can you reset the faces to default so you can paint the container?

As Dave has noted, the paint bucket tool can be used on a ComponentInstance or Group. There is, however, some logic about how the applied materials interact when applied to both the container and its contents. If something other than the default material is applied to an entity nested in a CI or Group, that material will “show through” regardless of what is applied to the CI or Group itself. But when the default material is on a nested entity, the material painted onto the CI or Group will show on it. When you have both the container and only some of the contents non-default, this can become confusing!

If you paint the container you can change the material to a different one without opening the container. That’s not the best way to apply materials but it can be done.

You can replace the materials on the faces by painting the default material on them. in the Materials window there’s a “dive flag” icon with the default front and back face colors. Use that to repaint the faces. Or delete the applied material from the In Model library and it’ll get replaced with the default color.

There’s not much point in learning how to change the orientation of materials if you only plan to paint the containers since you won’t have that option. If you paint the faces, however, you can right click on a face and choose Texture>Position and control orientation from there.

Another benefit of applying the material to faces instead of wrappers is that you can apply different materials to different faces so you can apply an edge material and a surface material and make it look like plywood.

I couldn’t have shown the edge grain of the plywood or indicated end grain on the hardwood pieces by painting the containers.

And it really doesn’t take long to do it.

Also, if you use decent texture images of wood, you can pick out different parts so the material doesn’t appear to repeat. The seats for these stools are made from two pieces of wood glued together although I drew them as a single component. By painting the surfaces, I was able to pick out different parts of the board for each half of the seat. Not an option if you paint the container instead.
Perriand Stools


SketchUp help:

You can use the difference between face and container color, if you know how, as an example:

One thing about materials has started to annoy me. There is no way of preventing the material from scaling when the group or component is scaled. As I often build my models from “Lego blocks” that I scale to size, this limits my choice of materials to plain colours.


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Are your Lego blocks all same components that are different sizes? Because you can use “scale definition”

If my memory is correct, I believe Tig has a plugin to re scale materials correctly.

There are actually two different workflows that would benefit from a way of applying textures that would remain standard size irrespective of scaling:

  • As I said, I often create, for instance, walls, by copying and scaling a simple cubic component. Using the “scale definition” would make all my walls the same length, height and thickness, or making them all unique first, would defeat the original purpose of keeping the model light and easily editable…
  • Scaling subcomponents is extensively used when building dynamic components, and, to keep them dynamic, things like exploding what is inside, or using the “scale definition” won’t work.


You may not be interested @Anssi but here is the Tig plugin I was thinking of.

Did you use 2 different textures on the seat face or did you use 1 edited texture to get the effect. I guess what I am asking is if you can put multiple textures on 1 face.

Are you talking about the oak stools I showed? It’s only one texture. Only one texture can be applied to a single face. The entire seat of the stool is painted with one texture but I divided the seat so I could make it look like two boards and I used different parts of the same texture image. After getting the materials where I wanted I hid the dividing edges.

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Yeah I was talking about the oak seats. You answered my question though. I didn’t know if you could use more than one texture per face. I thought you might have drawn a line dividing it into 2 faces but your way made it more seamless. I just couldn’t find anywhere if you could use 2 textures for one face even though I suspected that it wasn’t possible. Thanks for the response.

I don’t know if it was solved or not or if someone mentioned it, but I faced a similar situation, I accidently found a way to make it all the group color.

-1 make the object you want to color as a group
-2 go into the group
-3 press Shift while using the bucket

I hope it will help!
Good luck everyone