The Art of Tattoo Cover Ups

Tattoos are meant to be an exciting form of self-expression – a permanent reminder of your beliefs, memories, or values. But time may wear on your tattoo in many ways, stripping it of its original purpose. Maybe your preferences, experiences, and values change in ways that you couldn’t predict, or it fades or blurs over time, distracting from its original beauty. Though tattoos are permanent, you don’t have to suffer through the disappointment of living with a tattoo that doesn’t bring you pride; using certain techniques and styles, skilled tattoo artists can cover up your old tattoo, transforming it into a new work of art that will bring you joy every time you look at it.

Cover Up Techniques:
Covering up an existing tattoo involves strategic planning and skilled execution by a talented tattoo artist. You and your artist will work together to create a custom design that can be overlaid directly on the original tattoo, essentially ridding you of your undesired tattoo and leaving you with a fresh, exciting new work of art. This process requires a lot of skill, with artists using many different techniques to effectively erase the old tattoo and create another, including;

  • Layering: Layering new ink over the existing tattoo may be enough to conceal it, depending on its design. Your new design will incorporate specific elements to disguise or distract from the old tattoo.
  • Blackwork: Using black ink to create a new design may mask the original tattoo. Features like bold, intricate patterns or solid black designs can obscure the old tattoo, and blend right in with the new design without looking out of place.
  • Color Correction: Some tattoos with bright colors might be more challenging to cover up; if this is the case, artists can use color correcting techniques by using ink with hues that will neutralize the original color so that it more easily blends into your new design. 

Things to Keep in Mind:
Tattoo cover ups are a great way to turn a disappointing or uninspiring tattoo into something fresh, exciting, and expressive. But before you begin the process of covering up your tattoo, it’s important to keep a few things in mind about the process:

  • Find the Right Artist for You: Invest some time into researching tattoo artists so that you can find one that you feel comfortable with, and can help create the design you have in mind. Cover-ups can be a complex task for the artist, and likely an emotional task for you, so it’s important to find someone whose work you are confident in and excited about. Talk to your artist about your ideas and concerns beforehand so that you’re both on the same page.
  • Set Expectations: Not all tattoos can be 100% covered up. Depending on factors like size, color, and placement, there may be some limitations to what can be perfectly concealed. Trust that your artist is doing their best with the design that you create together and be open to their expert recommendations.
  • Be Patient: Tattoo cover-ups may take multiple sessions to achieve the final design; don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t look perfect after the first round.