How to Set Up a Professional Tattoo Workstation at Home

How to Set Up a Tattoo Workstation For Beginners
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Setting up a tattoo workstation can seem daunting, but with the right steps, it’s simple enough to do at home. In this guide, Axel Dale walks you through the process to ensure you have everything you need to create a clean, efficient, and professional setup.

Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your current setup, these tips will help you get started.

Essential Tools and Equipment

  • Gloves: Always wear gloves to maintain hygiene and safety.
  • Squeeze Bottle: Fill it with water and wrap it with cling film to keep it clean.
  • Surface Preparation: Cover your workstation surface with cling film. The cling film sticks easily to the surface, creating a flat, bubble-free workspace.
  • Wooden Depressors: These sticks are used to hold down your ink cups. Apply a bit of Vaseline on the end and stick them to the surface.
  • Ink Cups: Secure your ink cups with Vaseline to prevent them from moving during the tattoo process.
  • Cup of Water: Used for rinsing your needles whenever you change them or take a break.
  • Disposable Razor: Necessary for shaving the client’s skin before starting the tattoo.
  • Antibacterial Soap: Essential for cleaning the skin thoroughly.
  • Tattoo Machine: A wireless tattoo machine is preferred for its ease of use. If you have a wired machine, ensure you have a reliable power supply.
  • Stencil Applicator: For applying stencils accurately.
  • Tattoo Inks: Have a variety of tattoo inks ready for different shading and coloring needs.
  • Paper Towels: Use kitchen towels that are not too absorbent or too thin, to manage ink and wipe the skin.
  • Sharps Bin: Crucial for disposing of needles safely.

Setting Up the Workstation

  1. Covering the Surface: Use cling film to cover your workstation surface. Ensure it sticks well and is flat without air bubbles.
  2. Preparing Ink Cups: Secure your ink cups with wooden depressors and Vaseline.
  3. Organizing Tools: Place your tools and supplies in an accessible and organized manner. Make sure everything you need is within arm’s reach.
  4. Water and Soap: Keep a squeeze bottle filled with water and antibacterial soap nearby for cleaning purposes.
  5. Tattoo Machine and Power Supply: If using a wireless machine, ensure it is charged and ready. For wired machines, set up your power supply.
  6. Stencil and Inks: Prepare your stencil applicator and have your tattoo inks arranged. For black and gray tattoos, mix different ratios of black ink and water.

Pro Tips for Tattoo Artists

  • Ink Ratios: For black and gray tattoos, use 100% black ink, 50% black ink with 50% water, and pure water. This helps in achieving different shades.
  • Rinsing Needles: Always rinse your needles in water when changing colors or taking breaks.
  • Client Comfort: Keep your workstation clean and organized to ensure a comfortable environment for your clients.
Credit: Axel Dale Tattoo


Setting up a tattoo workstation at home is straightforward with the right approach and tools. By following these steps, you can create a professional, efficient, and safe environment for tattooing. Remember, the key to a successful tattoo session is preparation and organization. Happy tattooing!

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