A Technical Guide to Airbrushes

Choosing an Airbrush Tanning Gun

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You've decided that you want to spray tan someone.  Now you need an airbrush tanning gun to actually spray them.
Airbrush tanning image 1Airbrush tanning gun image 2Airbrush tanning gun image 3Airbrush tanning gun image 4Airbrush tanning gun image 5Airbrush tanning gun image 6Image provided courtesy of LipglossJunkie
No problem.

Of all the uses you can put an airbrush or spray gun to, spray tanning is actually the easiest to learn and master.   Don't get me wrong, you'll still run into difficulties, but the process itself is straightforward.

When it comes right down to it, the gun itself is just a small portion of the total cost, especially if this is for a business.  You'll end of spending more on your location and consumables (tanning solution, towels,  disposable undergarments, wages, etc.)

Criteria to Choose the Right Airbrush Tanning Gun

  1. Holds roughly 2 or more ounces of liquid

    In order to adequetly cover the tannee you'll spray roughly 2 ounces on them.  It's not a hard and fast rule, but, in general, figure on 2 ounces per tan.  

    This rule is also a great way to figure out the cost of tanning solution per client. 

    For instance, if a gallon of tanning soluion costs $128 then you'll be using $2 of solution per client (64 ounces in a gallon).
  2. Siphon feed, gravity feed, side feed--it doesn't really matter

    Most tanners choose siphon feed equipment simply because they can buy a bunch of bottles in an effort to "portion control" the use of solution.
  3. If you can afford the extra cost buy a spray gun.

    Spray guns are made for covering large ares quickly.  Even a petite body has a large area to cover evenly.  Spray guns let you spray the same amount of solution in fewer passes.  Fewer passes turn into a moe even, better blended result.

    However, don't get too carried away.  An HVLP Gun with an 18 inch spray pattern is WAY WAY too big.  Too big of a spray pattern means more material waste to get the same end result.  In short, you'll waste a lot of solution if you get something with too large a spray pattern.
  4. 2-6 inch spray pattern

    This is your butter-zone.  

    If you get smaller than this you'll spend a lot of time spraying each person and throwing a lot of overspray into the air because of the length of time you'll spray.

    If you get bigger than this a lot of your spray will "miss" the client and either settle inside your spray area or float around in the air.  This is material waste.

     Overspray is your worst health enemy and material waste is your worst cost enemy.
  5. Cost

    The perfect airbrush tanning gun needs to fit into your budget.  This could range from something as simple as a Revolution BCR or Paasche VL to an entire system where the gun itself is just a piece of the whole.

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