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Choosing a Cover-Up Tattoo (Everything You Need to Know)

Consider getting new tattoos to cover up that old, unsightly tattoo. This article explains how to select the perfect cover-up tattoo.

The hardest part of the process is over now that you've made the decision to cover up your old tattoo. Perhaps it brings to mind a moment or choice you'd prefer to forget. Maybe the previous tattoo artist didn't understand what you wanted. Or perhaps you're simply eager for a fresh work of art. Whatever the cause, you are aware that it is time to get something new.

However, this choice raises a lot of issues. Where can you obtain a tattoo cover-up? What will the price be? Does everyone who tattoos does cover-ups? Even so, will they be able to conceal your tattoo?

It might be really difficult to decide which cover up tattoo to have. This manual provides information on:

  • Concealing tattoos
  • How they operate
  • What types of tattoos are easiest to cover
  • Typical costs of covering up a tattoo

After finishing this article, you'll feel confident, informed, and prepared to schedule a cover-up appointment.


How Do Cover Up Tattoos Work?

A cover up tattoo is a new design that is inked over an old one such that the old tattoo is either hidden or incorporated into the new artwork. In essence, you are having a tattoo over an existing tattoo.

Tattoos can be covered up for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • The initial tattoo wasn't done well.
  • The tattoo serves as a remembrance of a trying time in the person's life. It has faded or appears outdated.
  • They comprehend how offensive the tattoo is.
  • They want to use the tattoo as inspiration for a new design.

The folks who want a cover up are as diverse as the motives they have for doing so. Of course, the original tattoo and the cover-up design both affect how well a cover-up works. It is considerably simpler to conceal an old, faded tattoo in a light colour like blue or green than it is to cover a brand-new all-black tattoo. Before undergoing a cover-up, some tattoos are suitable candidates for a few laser tattoo removal sessions to make the tattoo fade.

It's crucial to comprehend your selections and the possibility that a cover-up tattoo will work for your specific piece before choosing the ideal strategy for getting rid of your undesirable tattoo.

Tattoo Cover-up Versus Tattoo Removal

Your study will point you toward two possibilities when you start to consider removing a tattoo that no longer represents "you": tattoo removal or tattoo cover up. The ideal approach will depend on a number of variables, including the characteristics of the original tattoo, your skin tone and type, and your desired results. Before choosing, it's important to comprehend every aspect of both options.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Using a laser to penetrate the skin's layers and target the ink of your undesirable tattoo is called laser tattoo removal. The white blood cells in your body may then absorb the ink because the laser reduces the layers of ink particles into tiny fragments. With repeated sessions, laser tattoo removal becomes effective over time. Most people need 10–12 15–minute sessions on average to see full removal outcomes. The cost of laser tattoo removal varies depending on the tattoo's size, shape, ink type, placement, colour, and skin type.

For many people, laser tattoo removal removes all signs of their previous tattoo from their skin. Others only see a faint glow of colour where the old tattoo was. Usually, it's so undetectable that only someone who was aware of the tattoo can tell.

If you want to completely remove any signs of an old tattoo, laser tattoo removal may be your best option. An illustration would be a prisoner with a face tattoo. Every time they look in the mirror with this tattoo, they are reminded of a choice they would prefer to forget. Additionally, it can prevent individuals from landing or keeping a job. The eventual purpose for this client wouldn't be served by a cover-up tattoo. They want their face to be free of any tattoo traces. In this case, laser tattoo removal is the best choice.

Consider Removery's INK-nitiative programme if you have a tattoo on your hand, neck, or face that was inked during a trying time in your past. For individuals in need, this community project offers safe, efficient tattoo removal. Candidates who have served time in prison, who have been involved in gang activity, who have survived human trafficking, or who want to have hate symbols or racist tattoos removed are all eligible.

Tattoo Coverups After Laser Removal


Masking A Tattoo 

The way tattoo cover-ups function is by inking a new design over your old, undesirable tattoo. It makes use of components from the original design to produce something wholly different.

Someone who is okay with having a tattoo in the same location but wants a brand-new design or to cover up the existing tattoo would benefit from a cover up. Someone who had a stick and poke tattoo on their foot from a friend in high school, for instance, might decide they're ready for something more formal now. They might collaborate with a tattoo artist to create a lovely new flower design that includes the poke tattoo's black dye while entirely covering the original.

For someone who simply wants to add a new piece to their body without the numerous sessions required for laser removal, a cover up tattoo can also be a fantastic option. An individual might, for instance, have a faded sunflower tattoo on their back yet dream of a massive galaxy design. They might collaborate with a tattoo artist to cover up their old tattoo with fresh artwork by using dark ink and a huge pattern.

Keep in mind that you can combine cover ups and laser tattoo removal. A few laser tattoo removal sessions often yield superior results for covering up an existing tattoo and give your tattoo artist more opportunity to work on the canvas.

Other Techniques for Masking a Tattoo

Makeup and jewellery are additional short-term methods for hiding tattoos (like a bracelet over an unwanted wrist tattoo). Unfortunately, these choices are only temporary, and applying for them can take some time. They're not completely foolproof either because makeup is simple to rub or wash off.

The only foolproof method to remove an undesirable tattoo is to have it covered up.

How Cover-Up Tattoos Work

Your next concern, if you feel a cover-up tattoo is the best course of action, is undoubtedly "How exactly does this work?"

The layers of your skin play a role in the science of cover-up tattoos. The dermis, the layer of skin beneath the top layers of skin, contains the ink from your previous tattoo (the epidermis). The dermis will also receive the new ink hue, where it will mix with the old ink.

A tattoo artist must take into account both the old and new colours when choosing ink for your cover up because of this blending. For instance, tattooing red ink over an old blue tattoo will result in purple.

Additionally, keep in mind that darker inks will predominate. The majority of an old black ink tattoo that has been "covered" in hot pink will probably still be black.

The Cover Up Journey Is A Multiple-Step Process:

  • Choose a design. There are undoubtedly several tattoo cover-up ideas that you already have. Make a decision regarding the type of tattoo you want to employ to cover the old design. Think of things like size, colour, and design components.
  • Consult a specialist. Consult a cover up expert to ascertain whether you'll require any laser tattoo removal sessions to lighten your primary tattoo.
  • Select an artist. Meet with your cover-up tattoo artist to go through your design ideas once you've recovered from your removal sessions, or not at all if none are necessary.
  • Buy some new artwork! Purchase a cover-up tattoo! Seeing your cover up tattoo ideas come to reality is a wonderful sensation.

Unsure about the best tattoo to cover up? Don't worry; continue reading for more suggestions on the kinds of designs that will be most effective for you.



Factors Affecting Tattoo Coverage

As we previously discussed, there are several things to think about when concealing a tattoo. If you're considering how to pick a cover up tattoo, you should take these factors into account.


The minimal size of your new tattoo will depend on the size of your previous one. You'll require a large enough item to conceal the old portion. For instance, if you want to cover up a full sleeve tattoo, your replacement tattoo would probably also need to be a complete sleeve. Your cover up must be that size or possibly more if you have a skull and crossbones tattoo on your back that is the size of your palm.


Compared to dark tattoos, faded tattoos are simpler to hide. But the cover-up artist must take the hue into account. Whether the previous colour will show through will be left up to the artist.

Furthermore, having more colours in the original painting could make covering it more difficult. For instance, it would be challenging to paint a light blue sky over a multicoloured stained-glass window without first going through a number of painful tattoo removal procedures to lighten the original.


Older tattoos are usually easier to hide because they typically contain more faded ink and blown lines. For instance, a large, colourful tattoo you got 20 years ago on your ankle might be simpler to conceal than a little black tattoo you got last year. The new ink was simpler to seep into your skin since the older tattoo had more time to absorb.


Your ability to conceal an old tattoo depends on how it was created. Simpler designs may be easier to cover than more complex ones. It might also be necessary to have a precise cover-up tattoo. For instance, a simple line tribal tattoo wouldn't be able to hide a picture of your cat. It's far simpler to go in the "other" approach, like combining a straightforward line tattoo into a brand-new, intricate portrait.


The amount of experience and areas of expertise of your tattoo artist are crucial factors to consider when choosing who to work with to obtain your cover up. It's imperative to work with someone who has experience especially performing cover up tattoos, even if you've found someone whose work you adore.

You might have found a floral artist that creates stunning full-color artwork, and you want to collaborate with them to cover up the name of an ex on your foot. However, if this artist hasn't previously performed cover-ups, they might not know how to pick an ink kind and colour that will successfully cover over your old tattoo. You might obtain a lovely garden with a name visible through it.

Five Pointers for Choosing a Cover-Up Tattoo

You now have a better understanding of the procedure and criteria involved in selecting a cover-up tattoo, so it's time for the enjoyable part: choosing your ideal design! Here are some suggestions on how to pick a cover-up tattoo.

1. Maintain a Design that Is Close to the Old Ink

Cover-up tattoos are most effective when they have a design that is close to the old ink. For instance, obtaining a cover-up design that is likewise Celtic would be more simpler than attempting to create a new piece in a realist manner if you already have a massive Celtic knot on your foot.

2. Take into account enhancing the current design

You might be able to add to your existing design with something faster. This option can involve enhancing the tattoo's initial design with additional features, deeper colour, and size. If you have a single feather tattoo, you might want to think about merging the pattern into a lovely peacock cover up item.

3. Be Ready to Deal with a Bigger Size

At the very least, your cover-up tattoo must be the same size as the original. It will probably need to be larger. Size is a crucial factor to take into account while choosing your new design (and when deciding whether a cover up or laser tattoo removal might be suitable for you).

4. Cover Up Tattoos May Mean More Maintenance

To make sure the ink for your cover up tattoo soaks completely into the original design, it might take up to three sessions. Additionally, cover-up tattoos may be more susceptible to fading than "originals." It's crucial to follow proper tattoo aftercare procedures, which include moisturizing and UV protection.

5. Investigate Qualified Cover Up Tattoo Artists

Working with someone with cover up tattoo knowledge is essential, especially when you're first starting out. These artists are skilled at working with you to select a design that will successfully cover up your existing tattoo. To guarantee that the previous tattoo is completely covered, they might make style and colour recommendations.

Never be afraid to ask tattoo artists for cover up examples from their portfolios so you can see the job they've done when you're looking for someone to work with. Consider the inquiries you'll make in advance to make sure they're appropriate.

These inquiries might cover:
  • What is your view on covering over older tattoos?
  • How many cover ups have you done?
  • What must I remember as I recover from a cover-up tattoo?
  • Have you done any cover-ups? If so, do you have any before and after pictures?

6. Think about Laser Tattoo Removal

To acquire a surface that is sufficiently faded to put your new tattoo, you will probably need to have at least one or two laser tattoo removal treatments if your tattoo is dark, heavily coloured, or brand new. Even lighter or older tattoos can frequently benefit from removal sessions to give the cover up a more faded surface. Be careful to take this into account while choosing a schedule and price range for your tattoo cover-up procedure.

7. Have Realistic Expectations

Although it's excellent to have a tattooed goal in mind, make sure you're being realistic now to avoid getting let down later. If you don't have a lot of tattoo removal sessions, you won't be able to hide a highly detailed black portrait with a clear blue sky.

This truth is another another justification for why working with professionals early in the process is crucial. By doing so, you can communicate your intended outcome to them and they can advise you on the most efficient path to take.

Common Questions Regarding Cover Up Tattoo Selection

This article should have clarified any issues you had about selecting a cover-up tattoo and helped you decide what to do next. Here are a few more frequently asked questions.

Is Color Able to Hide a Black Tattoo?

Any colour other than black is difficult to conceal a black tattoo. Lighter colours won't be able to cover up an initial black tattoo as well as other dark tones like navy or brown. If you want to obtain a new tattoo with vibrant colours instead of the original black design, you might be an excellent candidate for laser tattoo removal.

How Soon Can You Cover Up a Tattoo?

You might want to head right over to the closest tattoo cover up artist if your new tattoo doesn't look anything like what you had in mind. Regrettably, you will have to wait until your tattoo has completely healed before planning a cover-up design. New tattoos are open wounds that may take months to completely heal at all skin depths, even though the surface layer of skin will recover in two to three weeks.

If you're considering covering up a more recent tattoo, it's best to do so with the help of an experienced cover up tattoo artist. They can assist in ensuring that you are well and prepared for your new piece.

How Do You Take Care of a Cover Up Tattoo? 

It's similar to caring for a "fresh" tattoo to take care of your new cover-up tattoo.

The most crucial components of care include:

  • As long as your tattoo artist advises, keep the bandage on top of your new tattoo.
  • Use fragrance-free soap and clean water to clean your new tattoo.
  • As instructed by your tattoo artist, use moisturizer.
  • Make sure to keep your tattoo out of the sun's direct rays.
  • Do not pick or scratch at your cover-up garment.

Which Colours Can Be Use to Cover Tattoos?

Tattoos can be hidden by artists using a variety of colours. The colours of your current tattoo and the final design you want to accomplish will determine the best colours for you. For instance, they could conceal something by using deeper shades of the same hue.

With a red tattoo, you could hide a once-hot pink one. They can also combine the existing ink with other coloured inks to produce a new colour. For instance, purple is the result of mixing blue ink with red ink on a tattoo.

What Is the Price of a Cover-Up Tattoo?

The price of a cover up tattoo varies almost as widely as the price of "regular" tattoos. The cost is influenced by a number of elements, such as the desired tattoo's size, colour, and level of detail, as well as the artist's level of experience.

Remember that getting a tattoo covered up could cost more than getting the identical design on a new piece of flesh. This expense results from the requirement for the tattoo artist to carefully consider the design and the kinds of ink they utilised depending on the original tattoo, which will require more work and time.

Call The IVONNE Team For A Cover Up Consultation Today.

Do you have an old tattoo that doesn’t suit you anymore? A cover up could be the ideal chance for you to cover over your old tattoo and acquire a new piece of art that you adore instead!

As this article has demonstrated, having a good grasp of your existing tattoo and the kinds of cover ups that can be effective is the most crucial thing to keep in mind when thinking about getting a cover up tattoo. You do have options, though, if your current piece is obstructing your ideal one. It may be simpler to get the cover up you've been considering if you receive laser tattoo removal and fade your existing tattoo.

Experts in cover-up who have experience can work with you to plan ideal treatment options.