I painted a couple of trays last year as Christmas presents, and decided that I would rather like one for myself.
I love the look of black chinese lacquer, and wanted to try something similar. I painted the tray with black gesso, and then having fallen in love with the effect of primary elements cinammon colour on black. I overpainted it with some of that. I then spray varnished it, before painting the roses on. I used Sheena's Paint Fusion Rose stamps and leaves.
I had been playing with sponging effects, so decided to sponge white paint on the background. White you say but it looks pink. Well ....... although the background had been spray varnished, when I did the final top coat of varnish, the pigment from the cinammon was still leeching through, and as you can see as I brushed on the varnish it changed the colour of the white, and even tinted the leaves and roses. However, this turned out to be a happy accident as I liked the finished result! My husband wanted to know what material I had used, as that was his initial reaction to the background; and was amazed at how the flowers "pop" from the tray. They certainly do look 3D on the tray in real life!
Naturally I had to incorporate a bit of my favourite gilding wax on the edges - using silver this time.