Changing the Color or Material of a Single Wall

Reference Number: KB-00005
Last Modified: July 15, 2021

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?

Fireplace located on accent wall


An individual wall's material can be adjusted using either the Wall Specification dialog or the Material Painter tool.

To change the material of a single wall using the Wall Specification dialog

  1. Select the wall you'd like to change the material of, and then select the Open Object edit button.

  2. In the Wall Specification dialog that appears, select the Materials panel.

    Wall Specification dialog on Materials panel with Interior Wall Surface selected

    • Click on either the Interior or Exterior Wall Surface component, and click on the Select Material button.

    • In the Select Material dialog, choose your desired material and then click OK.

    • Click OK once again to close out of the Wall Specification dialog and to confirm the change.

  3. Take a camera view to see the results. For example: 3D> Create Perspective View> Perspective Floor Overview .

To change the material of a single wall 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 see the Related Articles section below 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.

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.

Perspective Floor Overview showing wall with four different areas each painted a different color

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  break the wall into segments select the wall you want to modify and then select the Break Break tool icon tool in the edit toolbar.

    In X11 and prior program versions, use the Break Wall  tool to place break points along a wall.

    Note: If you would like the Break tool to remain active, you can turn on Sticky Mode in your edit toolbar 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 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 placed the break points on the wall for separate wall sections, use the instructions above to change the material on just that section of the wall.

    Floor Plan view showing wall with three Break Wall markers splitting the wall into four sections

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 Articles section below for information on Material Regions.