How to Cover up a Tattoo Design

There are billions of reasons for wanting to remove a tattoo, even if I personally believe it is a part of you, even if it is past, painful, or forgotten. But in short, if it is big and ugly I understand!

There are those who have done it by themselves, with needle and ink, with results that are a little too homemade; those who really did it when they were very young and don’t even remember why, and those who got tattooed on the wave of the fashion of the moment (let’s always remember the tribal 90s, repentance of many), who did it in a moment of madness, some for a person you fell in love with. WAS.

We have already talked about the possibility of removing a tattoo using the laser, a long and painful technique as well as expensive.

So are there any other options to “delete” a tattoo that we no longer like? Yes, and a lot more fun.

The Cover-Ups! Unlike lasers, these don’t leave spots, halos, ghost tattoos, or scars, but they leave us a new tattoo! More beautiful, fresher, more mature. Of which we will hardly get tired.

But what are Cover-Ups?

By the term Cover-Up we mean the covering of the old tattoo with a new one, which will hide or substantially modify it.

There are several factors that affect a good Cover-Up: the first obviously is the competence and skill of the tattoo artist.

But the size, coloring, and other different general characteristics of the old tattoo are also important (the style for example).

I say that it is important that the tattoo artist is an expert in Cover-Up because we can say that it is an art in itself. A bit like the restoration.

In fact, many tattoo artists are specialized in the execution of Cover-Up, because obviously to cover an existing tattoo specific knowledge, techniques, and skills are required.

Great creativity Design

In particular great creativity, is necessary precisely to transform a subject into a completely different design, in style, colors, and meaning, but which is beautiful (more beautiful than the old one, otherwise it is not valid) and well-executed as if it were new. At the same time, it must be able to completely erase all the features of the old.

Clearly, if you think you want to apply a Cover-Up you have to take into account that the new piece must necessarily be larger than the old one.

The final result will almost exclusively depend on the artistic and technical skills of the tattoo artist you are going to turn to. For this, it will be necessary to be very careful to choose the right artist and study with him the various possibilities for the new drawing.

The new design will be studied in detail and created specifically based on the shape and color of the old tattoo so that the most marked, dark, and full parts of the new design can completely hide the features of the one below.

It is by no means a simple job, but if you rely on expert hands you will be able to get an excellent result and a new tattoo that, you think, you will not get tired of.

How much does a tattoo cover-up cost?

A Cover-Up has the price of a normal tattoo, it doesn’t cost more in theory. However, taking into account that going to cover an already colored area it will probably be necessary to repeat it after not long, in fact, the colors of the old one could reappear. This is the only extra investment you might find yourself having to make.

How many kinds of Cover-Ups?

A Cover-Up can be done by reproducing a subject similar to the previous one, this is if we like the meaning of the tattoo and it is truly ours, but its shape and appearance leave us without hope. In short, tattoos are body decorations, if they are not beautiful it is not worth it!

A second case is instead that of the total change of theme or style, which as already mentioned involves a real challenge for the artist who is helping us to become more beautiful than before!

If we do a Cover-Up after many years in fact not only our tastes, but the general ones, the fashions, will have changed a lot and we will probably want to keep up with the times and the aesthetic taste of the moment.

So green light to Cover-Ups! But with intelligence, you don’t risk worsening the situation!

What is a cover-up tattoo and what are its peculiarities?

You know, a tattoo is something personal, and for this reason, the designs available are practically infinite.

Regardless, there are not a few cases in which the idea from which we start for our tattoo turns out to be disappointing once finished.

There are many reasons why a tattoo becomes unwanted.
Among these, there is the option that, either due to inexperience or lack of professionalism and self-criticism, the tattoo artist fails in the execution and the result is not what we expected.

Let’s not talk about old and discolored tattoos. Or those made for the fashion of the moment ( how not to mention the tribal at the bottom of the back that was fashionable in the nineties ). If we then put on the ” classic ” tattoos with the names of former partners, we have mentioned the most frequent reasons that lead us to look for a way to get rid of old tattoos. In short, the reasons why a tattoo is no longer liked are various.

Be that as it may, today there are several methods to get rid of an unwanted tattoo.
Among these, the q-switch laser, the various tattoo removal techniques, and the cover-ups certainly stand out.

Cover-up tattoo: what is it?

Let’s start from the basics:  what is a cover-up tattoo? A cover-up tattoo is nothing more than a procedure in which the previous ( unwanted ) tattoo is covered up and replaced with a new one.

In these tattoos, the most important part is certainly to find an idea that can be translated into a tattoo suitable to cover the area where the unwanted one is located.

Having found the idea, all that remains is to make an appointment with your trusted tattoo artist and, together, create the design suitable for the purpose.

But let’s remember that not all ideas and projects are suitable for a cover-up!
In these cases, the advice of a professional is more than necessary.

How do cover-up tattoos work?

Contrary to what one might think, there is no pigment overlay or substitution: the inks mix and form a new color.

What are the best colors for these tattoos?

In cover-up works, the tattoo artist mainly focuses on the color of the old tattoo and how to incorporate it into the new one.

As we have just seen, colors mix and do not replace, a bit like in tempera.
For this there are colors that are more suitable than others in this type of work:

  • Nero
  • darker shades of the color of the old tattoo 

The darker shades of the colors present on the old tattoo allow instead to cover the area without creating too different shades which, perhaps, are not very adaptable to the starting idea.

Cover-up tattoos: how are they done?

Regarding both cover tattoos and tattoos in general, each artist has their own technique.

However, we can say that there are guidelines to best cover old tattoos.

1. Choose the subject

As we have already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the most important part of this type of tattoo is certainly the choice of a subject that you like and that, above all, is suitable for covering the old tattoo.

2. Design the cover-up

After finding the idea, you need to make the first appointment with your trusted tattoo artist to adapt it to the area to be covered also, remember to choose a design with suitable colors.

To design the cover tattoo, the tattoo artist can generally proceed in two ways:

  1. draw the old tattoo directly on the area, in order to modify and adapt the design in real-time
  2. trace the old tattoo on the tracing paper and proceed to draw the new one on paper (or digitally)

In both cases, the professional will pay close attention to creating a suitable pattern to completely cover the old tattoo and incorporate any details into the new one.

3. Proceed with the tattoo

Having found the idea and designed the cover-up (including colors), all that remains is to make an appointment with your trusted tattoo artist and proceed with the execution of the tattoo.

Laser e-cover-up tattoo

Each tattoo artist has his own technique, even for covering old tattoos.
There are no right and wrong.

In the end, the important thing is to obtain the desired result in compliance with sanitary and, obviously, legislative regulations.

However, let’s see some useful tips to get an excellent cover-up tattoo!

Healing and healing

Regarding the care of cover-up tattoos, the same rules apply as for ” normal ” tattoos and we talked about them in the article “Tattoo care “.

Be that as it may, let’s see the most important steps in the care of a cover-up tattoo:

  • Wash the tattoo with warm water and mild soap.
  • Dry the tattoo by dabbing it with a clean, non-rough cloth or paper.
  • Apply a thin layer of moisturizing and unscented cream, such as Bepanthenol.

In these cases, in fact, there is the possibility of a slight over-job due to the enormous amount of work and pigment inserted under the skin.
We talked about it in the article ” Tattoo Problems “.

Also, if the old tattoo is very dark, there is a chance that the color (even lines) will be slightly visible on the new tattoo.
For this, it is good to turn to expert tattoo artists.

They will be able to optimally incorporate the old tattoo into the current one thanks to their experience and the use of suitable colors and designs.

Idea Cover-Up Tattoo

We talked about cover-up tattoos and saw how they work and what the various problems can be.
So let’s go and see together a photo gallery with many ideas for fantastic cover-up tattoos!

Obviously, everyone is free to choose the design they prefer and, especially in these cases, it is not possible to make a list of the most suitable subjects for cover-up tattoos.

Anyway, we decided to put up a gallery of photos depicting the before and after of some cover-up tattoos: maybe they can inspire someone to cover up an unwanted tattoo!


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