How to Add Texture to a Curved Surface in Sketchup

Featured Image_How to Add Texture to a Curved Surface in Sketchup

Adding textures in Sketchup is simple, but when you try to add texture to a curved object, in can get a bit tricky. In this tutorial, we’ll go over a few different ways of how you can apply texture to a curved surface.

Import Image

File > Import. Once you’ve opened or imported your model, you will want to also import the image you plan to use. Go to “file” > “import” and make sure the “image” option is selected. Select the image you want to import and click “import.” Roughly scale the image and click to place it in your Sketchup model.

Right-click on the image and select “explode” to make it an editable object. Then, right-click again and select “make group.”

Rotate. Hit “Q” on your keyboard to rotate the image. Use the arrow keys to lock to the correct axis and rotate the image so it is vertical.

rotate image to apply texture to a curved surface

Project Texture to a Curved Surface

The first way to add texture to a curved object isn’t ideal, but it may still work for you. Basically, the texture image will be projected onto the surface rather than wrapping around it.

Right-click on the image and select “explode.” Hit “B” to open the paint bucket tool. Hold “alt” to enable the eye dropper tool, select your image, stop holding “alt”, then click on your curved object with the paint bucket tool still enabled.

project texture to a curved surface

Wrap Texture onto a Curved Surface

Right-click on your texture image and uncheck “projected.” Then turn on hidden geometry by going to “view” and selecting “hidden geometry.”

Edit Height. Make sure your texture image is a group. Use the tape measure tool to measure the height of the can or cylinder. Then, enter the image group by double clicking on it and use the tape measure tool to measure the height of your image. Type in the height of the cylinder and hit “enter” to resize the image.

Paint. Hit “B” to open the paint bucket tool. Hold “alt” and select your texture. Then, use the paint bucket tool to manually fill in each face of the cylinder.

paint texture to a curved surface

Another way to apply the texture to a curved surface is by changing the length of the image instead of the height.

Edit Length. Select the top circle from your cylinder and open the “entity info” tab in the default tray. In the length box you can see what the circumference of the circle is.

Use the tape measure tool to measure the length of your image. Type in the same measurement of the circle circumference. Then, use the same steps as before to paint the image onto each face of the cylinder.

If you notice any tiling happening on the image, you can try repositioning the texture. Turn on hidden geometry. Right-click on the cylinder and select “texture” > “position.” From here you can drag the image to a slightly different position to get rid of any tiling.

finished model with applied texture to a curved surface

With these techniques, you’ll be able to easily apply texture to a curved surface in your model! If you want to see similar tutorials, let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out our similar tutorials on creating custom textures in Sketchup.

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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