How to Add Materials in Sketchup

Featured image_ How to Add Materials in Sketchup

In this article, we’re going to go over how to add materials in Sketchup. Sketchup comes with a variety of preloaded materials, but sometimes they may not be exactly what you’re looking for. By using this method, you can customize your model and add unique materials that can’t be found in the standard Sketchup library.

Edit Existing Materials

Before we get into how to add a new material, let’s take a look at how to edit an existing one. If you’ve never edited a material, this section will familiarize you with how it works!

Window > Default Tray > Show Tray. Open the default tray by navigating to “window” > “default tray” and select “show tray.” Once the tray is open, go to the “materials” tab. If you click on the dropdown menu and select “in model,” only the materials that are currently being used in your model will show up.

Select Material. Click on the eyedropper tool in the default tray and select one of the materials in Sketchup. Now it will appear in the “materials” tab of the default tray.

select materials in Sketchup

Edit. There is also an “edit” tab where you can change the color, hue, saturation, and brightness of the material. The color thumbnail next to the “picker” dropdown allows you to undo any changes. If you check the “colorizer” box, it will act as a monochromatic application of the color over whatever you do. If you uncheck the “use texture image” box, the material will just show up as a solid color. You can also edit the scale of your material from this tab.

edit materials in Sketchup

Add New Materials in Sketchup

Create Material. In the “materials” tab of the default tray, click on the “create material” icon. This will duplicate whatever material you currently have selected.

create materials in Sketchup

Upload Image. Select the “use texture image” box under the “texture” section. Select the image you want to use from your files and click “open.”

Adjust the Color. Use the sliders in the “color” section to adjust the hue, saturation, and brightness. Click “ok” when you are happy with how the material looks.

adjust color of materials in Sketchup

Apply Material. Double click on the object you want to paint and use the paint bucket tool to paint the faces with the new material. If objects in your model are in separate groups, selecting faces one by one may get a bit tedious. If all of the faces you want to paint are already the same material, you can use a trick to make this process faster.

Select > All with Same Material. Right-click one of the faces you want to paint. Click on “select” > “all with same material.” Then use the paint bucket tool to apply the new material to all of the selected faces.

apply materials in Sketchup to multiple faces

Scale. After you apply the new material you may notice the scale is not right. You can always go back to the “edit” tab of the material and adjust the image to a more appropriate scale.

final materials in Sketchup

Next time you want to add new materials in Sketchup, just use these simple steps!

If you’re looking for more Sketchup tips, check out the rest of our tutorials. What types of custom materials have you made in Sketchup? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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