Is this a correct phrase?

the three colorful secret palettes, paintbrushes, and paints

Does this phrase mean that all three palettes, paintbrushes, and paint are colorful and secret.

Because I think that I have a parallelism issue, so that every new noun needs a new or same adjective being written before.

the three colorful secret palettes, the three colorful secret paintbrushes, and the three colorful secret paints

Or put new adjective for each noun.

the three colorful secret palettes, the three secret paintbrushes, and the secret paints

  • This is an opinion. // The first sounds natural to me and the others sound awful. // Someone may explain why an 'and' is needed for 'colorful and secret'. // Because the parallelism sounds right, I would be very reluctant to add any other words to the first version. – Ross Murray Feb 2 '18 at 10:33
  • Using 'colorful secret ...' doesn't sound very idiomatic to me in the first place. The adjectives are in such different domains. 'The three cute little dogs, cats and rabbits' doesn't have this problem, but still sounds very unidiomatic, and the numeral (which is never classified as an adjective in modern grammars) as well as the adjectives needs repeating as necessary for the intended meaning. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 2 '18 at 11:08
  • @Edwin I agree that the natural order should be 'secret' then 'colorful'. Can you explain what this really means? // three secret and colorful palettes, paintbrushes, and paints // Pondering this one ... What is the 'three' modifying? // Could this be made to work with '... are secret and colorful.'? Perhaps 'are all'? – Ross Murray Feb 2 '18 at 11:22
  • @Ross Murray 'Three secret and colorful palettes' sounds almost as bad to me as 'The dogs were excited and secret.' Grammatical, but I think you'd have to spend a long time trying to find a near-acceptable context for this to make sense and be idiomatic. //// Switching to 'Three dogs, cats and rabbits ...', I'd say this defaults to 'Three dogs, x cats, and y rabbits ...'. But I'd put the 'three dogs' last in the list myself, or rephrase. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 2 '18 at 11:47

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