Using a Wood Burning Tool and Gel Stain to Make a Serving Tray


Tools Needed:

  • Minwax Gel Stain
  • Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane
  • Wood burning tool
  • Stencil
  • Decorative handles

Decorative wood burning is a centuries-old technique, but I hadn’t tried it for years, so when I wanted to personalize a serving tray for a friend of mine, I reached for my wood burning tool. (But you can also use a soldering iron.)

Stencil your design and begin wood burning.

Using a Wood Burning Tool to Decorate a Serving Tray

I used a stencil to outline her initials, then began burning this inexpensive, unfinished wood plank I got at my local craft store.

Apply layer of Minwax Gel Stain.

Apply Layer of Minwax Gel Stain

I then stained the tray with Minwax Gel Stain. You can apply your stain right over the burnt initials, as the scorched wood won’t absorb any stain.

Add a protective layer of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.

Apply Layer of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane for Protection

Since the tray will often have water spilled on it, I opted for Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane as my finish, for it has superior resistance to moisture.

Attach decorative handles.

Attach Chrome Handle to Decorative TrayI then attached two chrome handles, which I first mounted to scraps of rosewood I had in my workshop.DIY Decorative Wood Burning Serving Tray

As you can see, when you personalize a gift, you make something very special — and very practical — for a friend or family member.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!