Changing the Material on Multiple Components at One Time

In Chief Architect there are several different ways to change the materials that are applied to the surfaces of objects in your plan. Chief Architect X9 has added the capability to multi-select different components in an object and change their material at one time.


1. If you have Chief Architect running select File ► New Plan. If the program is not running, then go ahead and start Chief Architect and select New Plan from the Welcome to Chief Architect splash screen.
2. Draw a room, using the chbcfghStraight Exterior Wall tool. Make the room approximately 30’x30’ (does not have to be exact, make sure the room is a closed room).
3. Add a 2nd story, using the gdsghsdBuild New Floor tool.
4. On the 1st floor, use the aSDsaU-Shaped Stair tool to place stairs against the rear wall as shown in the following illustration. Use the fgsAuto Stairwell edit tool to create an opening in the 2nd floor.


5. Add some cabinets, and a couple of doors.



One way to select materials for objects in your plan is to select the material from the Library Browser and then “paint” the material to the object in your plan.

6. Take a reresFull Camera view so that you can see a 3D view of the stairs, cabinets, and doors.
7. In the Library Browser, select Chief Architect Core Catalogs ⇒ Materials ⇒ Flooring ⇒ Wood ⇒ Oak ⇒ Dark- OK Plank.
8. Move the cursor into the 3D view. resThe Material Painter tool is activated as indicated by the spray can attached to the cursor. You can now click on an object or a component of an object that you want to change the material to.



9. With the resMaterial Painter tool active, click on one of the stair treads. The stair treads for that section of stairs takes on the new material. Click on a tread on the 2nd section of stairs to transfer the dark oak to that section of stairs as well.

Another way to change the materials in your objects is to use the resMaterial Eyedropper tool. Once this tool is selected, you would click on an object that has the material that you want to use. The resMaterial Eyedropper tool will convert to the resMaterial Painter tool. You would then click on the object you want to apply the material to.

10. Click the resMaterial Eyedropper tool button (or select 3D ⇒ Material Painter ⇒ Material Eyedropper). Click on the stair top railing, and then click on the door.


Another way to change materials for objects is to use the specification dialog for the object.

11. Double-click the stairs to open its specification dialog. Go to the materials panel. You see a list of all of the components for the stairs. You can select as many of these components as you want and change the materials for all of the selected components to a different material, all at the same time. There are two ways to select multiple components. Click on Newels, then hold down the Shift key, and click on Riser/Trim. Everything between those two components is selected, including the two components that you clicked on. Click on Newels again, and then pressing the Ctrl key, select Balusters, Rails, Riser/Trim, and Underside. Using this method enables to select only the items you want and skip the ones you don’t want.



12. With the components selected using the Ctrl key method, click the Select Material button. The Select Material dialog displays. If you already had the material that you wanted to use in your plan you could go to the Plan Materials panel and select it. If the material is not in your Plan Materials you would go to the Library Materials panel. Select the latter. Find a white color in the library and select it. Click OK to close the Select Material dialog.

You can see the change in the preview as long as you have the dgvsdColor turned on (located above the preview window).

13. Click OK to close the Interior Staircase Specification dialog. All of the components you had selected will change at the same time to the new material.



The process you just completed works for doors, windows, cabinets, and many other objects that have multiple components.

You can also de-select components in a list. Just press the Ctrl key and click on the component you want to de-select.

If you like this tip, you can find more handy ways to improve your 3D home design software skills by picking up your Chief Architect X9 training book at