DIY Spray Tanning at Home

I love looking tanned as I am naturally very pale,  so I do my own spray tan once a week.  Buying a tube or bottle of fake tan costs £17-30 for a decent brand and getting a spray tan in a salon costs around £20 a time.  It was just too expensive for me in the long run. I decided, a few years ago, to learn how to spray tan professionally to save myself money, I am so happy I did (and for a few years I operated my own spray tanning business as well).

So now I am going to share this information with you, how to do your own salon quality spray tan at home yourself. You do need to buy a few things for your kit so you can do it properly, but once you’ve purchased that, all you really need to spend money on are the spray tan solution and learning how to do it, so it’s a good investment. You could also club together with a friend or relative and split the cost of the products and equipment, so you can spray tan each other and save money as well.


I learnt how to spray tan professionally because I am one of those people who, if I do something I want to do it well. Learning how to spray tan properly teaches you all about the science behind spray tan, how to give someone else a spray tan and once you learn the routine, you can use it to spray tan yourself or your friends or family.  You learn all about the different types of tan, different colour, really everything a tan addict needs to know.  Also, with this qualification, you could easily start your own tanning business if you wanted to.  These are generally a one-day course.

You can learn with many companies but here are some of the ones I think are the best:

Fake Bake training – £50 

Sienna Xtraining £95 

LA Tanning Training £50

Before spray tanning yourself, watch this video as it shows how the lady from Sienna X is spray tanning her model.  Your plan is to recreate this as much as possible – at home.



  • Oil free body exfoliator
  • Oil free moisturiser
  • Shower gel that doesn’t contain oil
    or thick moisturisers (No Dove)!


  • A spray tanning machine, I use the
    Maximist HVLP
  • Spray tan tent (so the spray tan
    doesn’t go everythwere)
  • Spray tan solution
  • Oil free moisturiser
  • Wet wipes
  • Kitchen towel

I have found a fabulous deal online with LA Tanning (I am not affiliated with
them in any way), you get the entire kit you need to start everything for just
£119 which is half price. This is an amazing bargain so I would snap it up LA
Tanning spray tan kit


  • Loose dark clothes


  • 24 hours before tanning – have a
  • Use an oil free exfoliator scrub all
    your dry bits, knees, elbows etc.
  • Use a shower gel that isn’t oily and
    try and avoid dove as it is very moisturising
  • Shave any unwanted hair


  • Put on whatever you want to tan in,
    a bikini or knickers etc
  • Set up your tan tent; put a towel on
    the base to stand on
  • If you are using ‘sticky feet’ which
    are sticky foot shaped pads so you don’t get tan on the bottom of your feet –
    stick these onto your feet
  • Shake your bottle of spray tan
    solution and pour enough into the cup (say 60ml) to ensure that the tube inside
    the cup can pick up the solution
  • Put the lid on the cup and attach to
    the hose of the machine
  • Prop up a mirror opposite your tent
    or set the tent up near a mirror so you can see where you are tanning
  • Get a piece of kitchen roll and hold
    it inside the tent, using your spray tan machine spray the kitchen roll and
    adjust the pin in the back so that the flow coming out of the tan will tan the
    front of the kitchen roll, but when you turn it over the back of the kitchen
    roll isn’t wet. This will ensure you get the colour on your body when you tan,
    but you will not be dripping with tan which is bad as it will cause running and
    creasing tan marks. Not what you want
  • Once the tan is coming out at the
    right frequency you are ready to start
  • Get in the tent and set your oil
    free moisturiser and wipes out nearby
  • Apply oil free moisturiser to your
    hands and feet, especially heels, elbows and knees
  • Put on a headband or shower cap to
    keep your hair out of the way
  • I start with my legs and work in
    long smooth sweeping movements
  • Legs – inner thigh, inner calf, top
    thigh, top calf, outer thigh, outer calf
  • Spray the feet lightly
  • Then I lean back first to the left
    then to the right and spray the bum and backs of thighs then prop my foot up on
    a small stool and spray backs of legs. You may need to get into some yoga-like contortions
    for this but it’s not that difficult, just check in a mirror that you haven’t
    missed anywhere.
  • I then do my tummy in upward strokes
    and then the chest
  • I do one arm from shoulder to wrist,
    life the arm in the air and do the underneath of arm and armpit down the side
    of the body to knicker line
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Then I tan my face, I use three
    downward ‘swooshes’ one for each side then one down the middle, remember to
    hold your breath but not scrunch up your face or you will get tan in any
    laughter lines
  • Now to the back, the hard part!
  • I reach my arm around and tan as
    much as I can of the back from each side
  • Then I lean forward and angle the
    tan spray slightly in the air so it falls on the middle back that I can’t reach
    with my arm
  • I move my arm up and over my
    shoulder to spray the top of my back and shoulders
  • I do a light spray on my hands with
    them in the ‘claw’ position to finish.
  • Now, do a spin in the mirror and
    touch up any white patches
  • Turn off the machine and get a wet
    wipe, wipe over your nails and toenails to get rid of any tan, also wipe the
    balms of your hands and the bottoms of the feet if not using sticky feet.
  • Take the cup from the end of the
    tanning machine then turn on, it will blow some nice warm air, use this to dry
    yourself fully until you feel dry and any tacky tan feeling has gone
  • Put on some dark loose clothing to
    protect your skin and protect you from touching the tan.
  • Leave overnight, observing the usual
    spray tan rules of not getting any water on your skin etc. and rinse off in the
  • Voila!

This does take a few goes to get
perfect but it’s so worth it to save money and I just find it so much easier
than using a mousse or lotion tan.


My favourite brands of spray tan solution are Fake Bake light, Vita
Liberata medium and the new Sienna X spray in 10% DHA.  What I specifically like about Sienna X is
that you can buy 250ml bottles of tan on their websites as most brands sell 1
litre bottles which are really more for salons, you can buy their tan here
I definitely think the 10% is the best one.