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Painted Palm Tree Tray

By: Cindi Bisson for

Serve up a platter of summer anytime with this Painted Palm Tree Tray from Cindi Bisson.  With some simple painting techniques, you can master the skills needed to create this fun summer project.  This tray is perfect for serving up some summer drinks or presenting appitizers for an outdoor gathering with friends and family.

palm tree tray


  • Duncan® Oh Four® Bisque - 31528 - Modern Large Bathroom Tray
  • Duncan® - 92425 - BR 599 Introductory Ceramic Brush & Tool Kit
  • Duncan® Discovery - 92408 - BR 575 No. 3 Fan
  • Duncan® Discovery - 92384 - BR 521 China Script
  • Duncan® Concepts® Underglazes
    • 98848 - CN 213 Dark Taupe
    • 80253 - CN 302 Bright Caribbean
    • 28270 - CN 512 Green Apple
    • 28268 - CN 510 Earthen Moss
    • 28643 - CN 523 Ginger Sprinkles
  • Duncan® French Dimensions™- 80312 - FD 271 French Kiwi
  • Duncan® Pure Brilliance® Clear Glaze 4 oz. - 26394



  1. Wipe tray with soft cloth to remove excess powder residue.
  2. For sandy beach, use blunt 1/4 inch shader brush lightly pounce a random application of first layer of Ginger Sprinkles underglaze to bottom third of tray face, extending over outside edges.  To create a graduated color effect, apply a second coat, beginning slightly below where first coat started.  Let dry.

    Palm Tree Tray
  3. To create irregularly shaded water effect, use fingertips to apply Bright Carribean underglaze directly to top 2/3 of tray, extending over outside edges of tray.  Apply a very light layer over the first layer of the Ginger Sprinkles, creating a sand through the shallow water effect.  Mix 2-3 drops of Green Apple underglaze with 2-3 drops of Bright Caribbean, apply over first coat, from edge of water extending approximately 1/2 way upward.

    Palm Tree Tray
  4. Use fingertips to paint entire back side of tray with Bright Caribbean underglaze.  Let dry.
  5. In foreground/front bottom of tray, use small round brush and Earthen Moss underglaze to paint 2 palm tree trunks on left side, one slightly shorter, and one on the right edge, extending trunks over bottom outside edge.
  6. Mix 2-3 drops of Earthen Moss underglaze with 2-3 drops of Dark Taupe underglaze, add small accents of mixed underglaze to some areas of palm tree trunks.  Let dry.   Use edge of clean-up tool to lightly etch random horizontal marks into tree trunks to create bark effect. 

    Palm Tree Tray
  7. Use small round brush to paint palm 5 tree fronds onto each trunk.

    Palm Tree Tray
  8. Apply accents of Kiwi French Dimensions glaze over palm frond leaves.
  9. Following manufacturer instructions, apply 2-3 coats of Duncan® Pure Brilliance® Clear Glaze.

    Palm Tree Tray
  10. Fire on Cone 4.  If you don’t have a home kiln,  search local firing locations. Locally, The Pottery Camp was able to fire this piece.
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