70 Cover Up Tattoo Ideas Before and After


Tattooing is a common practice found practically everywhere. In Japan, a tribe of indigenous people known as the Ainu are known for sporting facial tattoos. The same goes for the Maori tribes of New Zealand. Tattooing first originated amongst Polynesian tribes, as well as specific tribal groups in indigenous regions. Despite the fact that tattoos are considered taboo in some places, the art of tattooing remains popular across the world.

Tattoos have grown in popularity across many parts of the globe, especially in places like Europe, Japan, and North American regions. Tattoo culture has experienced a growth and has also witnessed an influx of uniquely talented tattoo artists into the industry. Plenty of these professional artists have actually gone through training, or have degrees in college courses related to tattooing, like fine arts. Paired up with technological advancements with color pigmentation, along with the always-evolving equipment tattoo artists use for their jobs, there’s now a significant improvement when it comes to the quality of the tattoos that they make.

Tattoos are meant to reflect a person’s traits, to honor a beloved person, or a certain life event. But sometimes the memories and sentiments attached to a tattoo might change over time. And in turn, the wearer might dislike or even feel a tiny bit embarrassed by what they did. They could also think that the tattoo isn’t that important to them anymore, or simply inappropriate for work or school. So what are they meant to do instead of forever hiding it underneath their clothes, or spending and saving cash to get it removed? There’s only two options for that: The first is through laser removal, and the second one is by covering the tattoo up.

Unfortunately, getting a laser tattoo removal might be even more painful than the actual tattooing process itself. And not only that, it’s also twice as expensive. However, getting a cover-up tattoo seems like the better option here. It does have the same price as the standard tattoo, and it’s something that you’ve already experienced beforehand, so this should be the easier option for you.

There are actually two kinds of cover-up tattoos: The first one has been described as redoing a terribly-made tattoo. This is where the artist takes the current tattoo and designs it using better colors, turning a previously-ugly or faded tattoo into something that looks great. The second type of cover-up tattoo gets rid of the past design through hiding it and switching it with something completely different.

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Acquiring a cover-up tattoo looks pretty much the same as getting any other tattoo out there. You and your tattoo artist can browse through several cover-up tattoo ideas, have a good discussion and then book your appointment later on. Perhaps the only real difference that comes with picking your choice of tattoo design  depends on the one you plan on covering up, when your replacement image of choice just isn’t working. It just goes right down to finding which design looks the best with your old tattoo, and whether you like it or not. In the end, it’s all just a matter of compromising the design, and the artist tweaking it to suit your taste and to cover up the old tattoo as well. When you choose to cover up a tattoo, you have to wholly accept that sometimes, your idea might just not fit the final design. But all you have to do is to be patient, and perhaps you will end up liking the final outcome as well.

Cover-ups can be done on top of a current tattoo of practically any design, color, shape, and size – Although there are several colors and designs that can greatly contribute to the final look of a cover-up tattoo. The best kinds of tattoo artists can cover nearly every tattoo that you might have and provide you with a brand new design that you will definitely show off and not feel frustrated or embarrassed about.

If you end up passing through several kinds of before-and-after cover-up tattoo designs, then one thing is for certain: Your tattoo artist can do anything to your old ink and place a new design over it. Changing someone’s name to suit a design, changing a design to some sort of tribal art symbol, or even transforming it into the shape or face of an animal, or even the simplest things like Celtic knots, flowers, and heart tattoos – No matter what design you pick, your tattoo artist can change it for you. But of course the end result will all depend on the artist’s expertise, so make sure to pick a good one who knows their stuff.

Types of Cover-Up Tattoos                                                     

Tattoos are meant to be permanently placed on your body, and this is the reason why you have to choose wisely when picking the design of your tattoo, as well as the tattoo studio where you want it to get done. The studio of your choice is just as important as how you want your tattoo to look. You must select an excellent tattoo design which holds plenty of meaning to you, and not a spontaneous design. What is something that inspires you? What is a quote, or who is a person who motivates you to do good, or to reach your goals? What’s one thing that you would like to be reminded of for the rest of your life? It’s not always wise to get a tattoo of a boyfriend or girlfriend’s name, especially when you’re only in the early stages of your relationship. And don’t go for some really ugly designs for your tattoo. The important thing is to choose a really skilled artist which can provide you with the design that you want and choose the one that matches your personality the most and captures the meaning that you want to convey.

  • Flower Cover-Up Tattoo: In this version of the cover-up tattoo, you can mask out the ones that have faded or if the ink has been rubbed off. It’s quite easy to cover up small tattoos without having to use too many shadows and shades, like the one seen in this design. The darker portions of your flower cover-up tattoo are placed on the lines that are much difficult to remove or hide away. This produces a rather impressive result.
  • Portrait Cover-Up Sleeve Tattoo: If you feel like your previous tattoo looks unsightly or boring, then you can get your artist to recreate the idea of your old tattoo by incorporating brand new elements as well as a brand new subject to your previous ink. This new tattoo of yours would surely capture the attention of so many people, and make their eyes veer away from the old, unwanted design.
  • 3D Dragonfly Cover-Up Tattoo: A quote or phrase tattoo is much easier to cover up than any other intricate design out there, but the problem when it comes to these types of tattoos is that they occupy way too much spacing, especially when it’s a full sentence. So the best way to solve this problem is to make the cover-up tattoo much bigger than the old one.
  • Colored Full-Sleeve Cover-Up Tattoo: In this situation, the previous tattoos are taken right in the center of the arm, particularly in the middle section. Masking it would require you to get a much larger tattoo, but thanks to its placement, this idea would seem a tad bit awkward. The answer to this issue? Cover up the sleeve as a whole, and your old tattoo would end up becoming hidden beneath stunning colors, and a gorgeous design.
  • Portrait Cover-Up Tattoo: A tattoo in full black ink is actually difficult to hide. The best way to solve this problem is to simply hide your old ink behind shades of a darker color, then position the main subject of your brand new tattoo, over a spot that’s surely not to reveal any old ones. In regards to portrait cover-up tattoos, tribal designs and swirls are so much better concealed in shadows (if you want to hide your tattoo the easy way). Or maybe your artist likes a bit of a challenge and wants to hide it beneath an abstract design.

Meaning of Cover-Up Tattoos                                          

A tattoo is always permanent. But there might be some instances in which the wearer walks out of the tattoo shop unhappy, or in worse cases, embarrassed, at the final result of their ink. There are only two ways for you to deal with a bad tattoo: The first one is to remove it, and the second one is to cover it up with an even bigger tattoo.

Cover-up tattoos are the cheapest option here, and could also hide away old, faded tattoos, replacing them with brand new, fresher designs. And you and your artist could even get creative and incorporate several aspects of your old tattoo. The best tattoos that you can cover up are the ones whose ink has faded away, or those that the artist drew on with lighter ink.

Covering up a tattoo isn’t just about placing a brand new design on top of a poorly-made or faded tattoo. The artist needs to create it in a way that the past design isn’t going to compromise the look of the brand new design. The new tattoo should look good even after it’s been around for a week or so.

But if the artist does a pretty horrible job of covering your tattoo improperly, then there’s a chance that traces of the previous tattoo could show up on the new one, which is frustrating.

Keep in mind that these tattoo artists can only cover up your bad tattoo using the same color of ink. This is the reason why most artists would sometimes utilize a white ink – This lightens up the color of your previous tattoo, before they can cover it up with a bigger, better one. If they have enough time, they can draw a massive sleeve tattoo on it instead, or temporarily hide it away.

According to most tattoo artists, removing or covering up a bad tattoo is just normal. Plenty of people who get tattoos – Especially those who get it upon impulse – Sometimes take a while to learn and understand that something very small and nasty-looking might seem like a great idea to put on your body, but they’ll end up regretting it in the long run.

It’s just unfortunate to think that plenty of the same artists don’t have too much of a sturdy grip on the concept of cover-up tattoos and end up creating an even bigger mistake than the previous one. As a result, these cover-up tattoos could look darker, bigger, and nastier – Making these hard to cover-up as well.

For tattoo artists, the best ink color to cover up old or bad tattoos is black. Black-ink tattoos might not be too appealing for some people and could end up looking a bit dull, but it could look the exact opposite depending on the design of your cover-up tattoo. You can opt to get a cover-up tattoo in a darker shade of its original color, such as a rose, or a pair of wings.

Ideal Placement  of Cover-Up Tattoos

Covering up a bad tattoo could be a slightly complex situation. After you get your tattoo, the ink has already sunk into your dermis, found right below your epidermis. This brand new ink pigment isn’t going to come over the old-colored ink. This means that the artist needs to mix together two colors to create a brand new one, since the ink with the stronger color dominates the color combination.

If you want your new ink to look just as good as the day you got it, then the new tattoo has to look bigger than the old one, even though this could only involve a light amount of tattoo coverage, especially if the old tattoo is a small one. The new tattoo should occupy an area of at least 20 percent more than the old one.

This can deal with covering up – And therefore, removing – The previous tattoo thanks to the insertion of some secondary elements, or by using a background, instead of having to utilize some brand new designs that look just as wonderful. Covering a tattoo is actually difficult – Not because it’s hard to mask the previous design, but because the wearer has often given the artist impractical limitations when it comes to the brand new tattoo design. This makes working on the cover-up tattoo twice as challenging to achieve.

If you want your new tattoo to fully cover up the old one, then you should discuss first with your tattoo artist and let them create the best design for your new ink – Although this means that you won’t have too much freedom and control over the cover-ups that you put on your brand new tattoo design, especially on untouched skin.

Another thing to remember when getting a cover-up tattoo is that you won’t always get what you expect, so keep your standards low. You won’t be getting the real size of the design, or even the exact replica of the cover-up tattoo that you want. It’s still possible, however, to utilize any type of tattoo concept as a form of cover-up, as long as you let your tattoo artist put it on how it must be placed, as well as how large or small you want it to be.

If you’re not content with your old tattoo, then you can get a tattoo artist who specializes in cover-ups to mask your old tattoo. People who want to get a cover-up tattoo are usually reluctant in finding another professional tattoo artist who can do the job, thanks to the past experience of getting a bad tattoo. This is completely understandable – But after you have acquired a bigger and hopefully much better tattoo, you’ll feel content compared to owning a tiny one that’s mediocre.

Cover-Up Tattoo Preparation Tips

Preparing one’s self for getting a new tattoo could be somewhat daunting. Even those who have gotten tattoos several times are fully aware that there’s so many things for them to remember and do, so the whole tattooing experience goes by as smoothly as possible.

Make sure there aren’t any significant marks, scratches, abrasions, or scars in the place where you intend to put the tattoo on.

Don’t drink alcohol on the night before getting your tattoo done. it’s already bad that you’re walking into the shop with a hangover, but the amount of alcohol in your blood will increase and can thin your blood. This can cause excessive bleeding during the process. The artist also has a right to not give you a tattoo when you’re inebriated.

Always get enough sleep, because a tattooing process can take hours. Not having enough energy can make you feel all fidgety and grumpy through the whole thing, which can also harm your ink’s final outcome.

Level of Pain When Getting A Cover Up Tattoo

Masking a tattoo that you’re not really fond of, or don’t like anymore, is actually much more difficult than it might sound like. This goes for both the artist and the wearer themselves. Depending on how large you want the new piece to cover up to previous tattoo, you could end up choosing a design that’s so much bigger than your old tattoo. Of course, this equals to twice the amount of pain exerted over your skin’s scar tissue. A cover-up tattoo is also twice as expensive, and you and your artist have to think of a good design that looks great and does the job of masking the old tattoo. Coming up with a cover-up tattoo idea is difficult, since you, along with the cover-up tattoo artist, need to agree with how the idea looks like, and be happy with how the result turned out.

The level of pain sustained when getting a cover-up tattoo could vary from person to person, much like a regular tattoo. But there are still plenty of individuals out there who have talked about the pain of getting a tattoo, with the sensation of the tattoo gun passing through your skin. It takes a lot of courage to get a huge cover-up tattoo, since the needle passes through the skin, producing a new trail of ink.

Frequently-Asked Questions On Getting A Cover-Up Tattoo

Even though the idea of getting a cover-up tattoo isn’t exactly new, there are still plenty of tattoo owners and artists alike who have their doubts about the entire concept. Here are a couple of answers to several questions that they might have:

  • How Exactly Does A Tattoo Cover-Up Work?

Once you get yourself some new ink, the ink droplets deposit themselves at least one or two millimeters beneath the top layer of your skin, right inside the dermis. So if you do decide to get yourself a cover-up tattoo, this new type of ink is stored together with the pigment used from the previous tattoo right in the same layer. The color found inside the new ink isn’t going to settle itself above the color from the old tattoo. Instead, these two pigments will mix together to create a much darker shade compared to the previous one. Plenty of cover-up tattoo artists will consider the hue of your previous tattoo as a base for their new design, as well as how it’s going to look like when combined with a new shade.

  • How Are Cover-Up Tattoos Done?

The cover-up tattoo works in the same way like all tattoos do. First, the artist will take an outline of the area where you want to place the tattoo on, including the spot where the cover-up tattoo will be placed. The artist will now start assessing the spot, as well as the tattoo design, to learn more what design looks best to cover the old tattoo up. This could mean the shape, the style, the colors used, and how large the tattoo will end up. And once everything is done, it’s now time for them to use that needle and your old tattoo will be gone.

  • What If You Just Want To Change The Color?

Sometimes the person who wants to change their tattoo actually does like the design – They’re just not fond of the colors used. Changing the hue of your ink can be achievable, especially if your artist uses inks with darker pigmentation, but there’s always the risk that the previous tattoo could end up looking twice as bad. When the artist decides to change your tattoo’s colors, they could just end up simply merging the shades found in the ink. It’s also important to remember that not all tattoo colors can be converted into a different shade. Tattoo inks only serve to darken up the lighter shades.

  • Can You Fix A Bad Tattoo?

There’s a slim chance, but it’s still possible. Always remember that not all tattoos are the best candidates for a cover-up. And what’s more, only tattoo artists with enough covering experience can push through with masking your tattoo. This is why a discussion is always important, so the two of you can discuss what kind of imagery is important to hide the previous design. Don’t worry – Consultations are always free and would only take at least up to thirty minutes for the work to be finished.

  • What Kind Of Ink Colors Are Used For Covering Up A Tattoo?

Black is commonly used as the main color for covering up tattoos. But nowadays, plenty of artists are now using other shades to mask unwanted designs. This includes colors like green, red, or blue, orange, purple, brown and even dark magenta.

Standard Costs Of Getting A Cover-Up Tattoo

The final pricing of a cover-up tattoo will depend on the size of the design, as well as the details. The larger the treated area is, the more expensive will the process be. Compare this to a tattoo removal procedure which only takes less than an hour to finish. The fine lines and colors of the tattoo can be removed right away after a single treatment.

This kind of offer must always come after a consultation and a free trial of the treatment itself. Only after will the artist be able to tell you if your old tattoo is worth covering up or not.

You can find the best kind of treatment prices, alongside other info regarding the size and age of your past tattoo. To lessen the cost of covering up the tattoo, you should also consider the interaction of the pigment with your skin, the amount of energy given to cover up the tattoo, the amount of pigments used, as well as the correct wavelength. These factors can highly influence the covering up of your tattoo and save you plenty of cash in the process.

Cover-Up Tattoo Maintenance  Tips

Keep in mind that tattoos are also open wounds, despite how pretty they look. Tattoo guns tend to use a fast-moving needle to place the ink into your skin. The aftercare process is a highly-important part in making sure your tattoo looks good as new.

Do not use harsh chemicals or scented lotions or soaps when cleaning your tattoo. This could irritate your fresh ink.

Do not pick on the scabs since this can create scar tissue.

Don’t scratch on your tattoo even if it itches.

Avoid using products that contain petroleum jelly in them. This can clog up the pores in your skin, and your tattoo won’t be able to ‘breathe’. Do not apply sunscreen on your tattoo until it’s completely healed.

Do not submerge your tattoo in a body of water while it’s still healing.


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