Have you opened up a component/assembly and could not figure out how to change the colors of certain faces, parts or bodies? Well, the reason for this is because SOLIDWORKS has a set hierarchy when it comes to appearances.
When you drag and drop an appearance on a component, the appearance target will appear. The final resultant color that is created depends on the location the appearance was placed. This could be a feature, face or body of a part, a component or the entire assembly itself.
Depending on where the appearance is placed, a previous appearance can be overwritten or no changes takes place due to an appearance already placed at a higher hierarchy level.
To fully understand how to change or remove an existing appearance, one must identify the location in the hierarchy for that appearance.
If an appearance is applied at the assembly level, it overrides all other appearances. If the appearance is applied to a part, it can be overridden by appearances applied to elements of the part such as features, bodies and faces. The hierarchy can be seen in the image below.