Sketchup Pergola (6): Color and Texture

September 25, 2015
Read time: 1 min


How to add grass and paver textures, manipulate wood grain, and bring in furniture (and friends) from the digital Big Box.


[There are three videos on this page, so don't be afraid to scroll ... ]

Wood that looks good

Out of the box wood grains run the rigfht direction 50% of the time. To make it work always, Matt builds a texture box with multiple grain directions. But first, he tightens the grain with the Texture>Position tool.

  • Build a three dimensional box and paint one side with wood grain. 
  • To get grain running 90 degrees to the original direction, select the face, choose the rotate tool (indexed in the blue direction plans) and hold down the Control key (option key for Mac). This makes a copy and rotates the copy. Now we have grain running in two directions.
  • Next, 'Control-Rotate' again, this time in the red direction plane. Rotates the piece up 45 degrees.
  • To change the texture from a paint-on coating to an actual grain that runs through the wood, right click, select Texture>Projected. Now the texture is projected through the wood.

To apply the texture, use the eyedropper tool to sample from the texture box for choices of projected texture patterns. You can also change the color, hue, and saturation of the 'wood' textures.


Adding accessories from the Component Warehouse to a Sketchup Pergola


Add grass, concrete, and pavers to the Sketchup pergola

Converting the geometry on the ground into a lawn and patio

Step by step guidance:

  • First, draw a large rectangle and center it under the pergola.
  • Cut out the rectangle that occupies the same space as the pavers/border.
  • From the Materials window, choose Vegetation.
  • After adding grass, you can right click, choose Texture>Position to resize the tile of vegetation.
  • Double-click into the patio group, select the inner square, select concrete pavers from the 'Stone' section of the Materials window. For a border, Matt chooses a dark aggregate.

Next, Matt moves the grass plane down two inches, which gives the patio some physical relief from the grass, but it also puts the grass underground, in a digital sort of way. The shadows float 2 inches above the grass, so Matt selects everything and raises it all up 2 inches.


Manipulating wood grain direction and color in Sketchup 

With a pergola and a patio it is time for a party

Matt goes to the Component Warehouse (The Sketchup equivalent of a Big Box) to shop for patio furniture. While there, he meets up with a couple of old friends, Bryce and Sang.

Adding his old pals helps to gauge the scale of the model. It is here that Matt realizes that the pergola may be too tall. 


Stay tuned for the Board Shrinker.


—Matt Jackson is a master carpenter, remodeler, SketchUp Wiz, YouTuber, and contributing editor to ProTradeCraft. He lives and works in Rapid City, South Dakota.