Changing the Color or Material of a Single Wall

Reference Number: KB-00005
Last Modified: July 16, 2018

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


I want to change the color of a single wall in my room to create an accent wall. How can I change the color of just a single wall?

contemporary living room with fireplace


The Material Painter can be used to paint a single wall of a room by using the Material Painter Component Mode..

To change the material of a single wall in X8 and newer using the Material Painter

  1. Select View> Library Browser  to display the Library Browser.

  2. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Floor Overview  so that you can see the wall you wish to apply a material to.

  3. Select 3D> Material Painter> Material Painter Component Mode  to make sure the material painter is currently using the component mode.

    There are five Material Painter Modes. Each mode specifies how broadly or narrowly the selected material will be applied to surfaces in your plan. In addition to the Material Painter Modes, the Blend Colors With Materials option allows you to apply a solid color to a surface displaying a pattern or texture and blend the two. Please review article KB-00793 Using the Different Material Painter Modes for more information on these tools.
  4. In the Library Browser, search for the color or material you wish to apply to a single wall, select it, and then bring your cursor into the 3D view to see it has changed to the material painter .

  5. Click on a wall to apply the selected color or material to that wall.

To change the material of a single wall in X7 and older

  1. First, use the Select Objects  tool to select the wall that you want to adjust and click on the Open Object  edit tool to display the Wall Specification dialog.


    You can select the Wall in either a 2D floor plan view, or in a 3D camera view, to open its specification dialog.

    If you are in a 3D camera view, selecting the wall will select the room first. This can be verified by looking at the left of the Status Bar at the bottom of the screen. If the room highlights first, click on the Next edit button, or press the Tab key on your keyboard, to select just the wall itself.

  2. Go to the Materials panel, and select either the Exterior Wall Surface or the Interior Wall Surface that you want to change..

    Note: Recall that in Chief Architect, when you draw walls in the recommended clockwise fashion, the exterior surface will display as outward. Even Interior walls have an "Interior" and an "Exterior" surface, based on the direction that the wall was drawn.

  3. Click on the Select Material button to display the Select Material dialog.

  • On the Library Materials panel, click the arrows in the catalog list to browse the various categories available, and expand them to locate the material you want to apply to the wall.

  • On the Plan Materials panel you will find a list of materials that have been used in this plan, allowing you to easily locate previously selected materials.

    Note: X6 and prior versions have separate Library Material and Plan Material buttons on the Wall Specification dialog.

  • Once you have selected the material that you want to use, click OK to close the Select Material dialog.

  • Click OK again in the Wall Specification dialog to apply the change in material or color to the wall.

  • In some cases, such as when an exterior wall runs the length of several rooms, you may not want to change the material of the spanning wall, or you may want to apply different colors to several different sections of the same wall to create a striped effect. You can use Wall Breaks to accomplish both of these tasks.

    If you are in a 3D camera view, return to your 2D floor plan view for the following steps.

    To change the material of a section of wall vertically

    To apply a different color or material to a section of a given wall, Wall Breaks will need to be placed on either side of the section that we want to change.

    1. To use the Break Wall tool, select Build> Wall> Break Wall  and click on the wall where you want to place the wall break.

      Note: The Break Wall tool remains active, so that you can continue to place as many breaks as needed.  When you are finished, choose a different tool, or press the spacebar hotkey on your keyboard in order to return to the Select Objects tool.

      The Break Wall tool applies a break in a wall. Once a wall is broken, the two wall segments are separate walls that can be modified independent of each other. If a wall break is placed near the intersection of two walls, the break is positioned at the center of the intersection. Walls separated by a break can be rejoined. Select one of the segments, then click on the end edit handle located at the break and drag it a few plan inches (mm) away from the break

    2. After you have used the Break Wall  tool to place break points on the wall for separate wall sections, use the instructions above to change the material on just that section of the wall.

    Another solution  would be to draw a Wall Material Region in the area that you want to display differently, though this adds more than just a color to the pre-existing wall surface, and is better suited for facade walls. See the Related Article below for information on Material Regions.