Whenever you get a tattoo, you really have to think well what the design would be. This is very important since unlike art pieces on paper, tattoos are not very easy to erase or take off. Actually it’s not impossible. You can have the tattoo removed or get a cover up tattoo, but you need to be aware of essentials to achieve the best result. So again, be very careful of what you will choose as your tattoo.
Why do people regret their tattoos?
The latest survey shows 30% of Americans get one tattoo on their bodies. Some get 2 or more tattoos. Inevitably, some of them will lose love to their previously loved ink over years. There are signs that your present tattoo may not be something you are thrilled with. For example,
- The old one is poorly inked or faded out
- My tattoo is not at the right location.
- I have changed. The motif no longer represents me.
- I just don’t like the style.
- My tattoo has the name of person falling apart
It’s especially true that many people get their tattoos when they are young. As time goes by, there are many changes that could happen. If you have totally lost love of the ink art, tattoo removal shall be your only option. If your regret is because of the ugly tattoo before and expect a new one for replacement, then tattoo cover up is the process to go.
What is tattoo cover up?
Tattoo cover up is the process to remove or fade unwanted tattoo and ink a new piece on the same body part. If the existing ink is lighter one, covering up with the new tattoo in darker tones can effectively hide the one before. Otherwise, tattoo removal process is necessary to lighten the previous one.
So in many cases, one has to receive laser removal before the new tattoo is inked. Depending on the size, style, colors of the old tattoo and techniques used, multiple sessions are needed to effectively remove or fade unwanted ink.
Normally, you have to wait for several weeks after the last laser treatment before getting a new tattoo. The purpose is to ensure to get the best result when the treated area is completely healed.
Of course, your choice of tattoo artist would also be one way of lessening the risks of being the talk of the town. What with a misspelled tattoo or just a bad design in general, you wouldn’t be able to show anyone? Your tattoo artist should be someone you know or you’re comfortable working with. And simply put, tattoo artists would know how to get good cover up tattoos and make them better. In short, they’ve got the skills and talents that makes them even the best around town.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tattoo Cover Up
Before embarking on the journey of getting a tattoo cover up makeup, there are several factors to consider:
1. Age and quality of the existing tattoo
Older tattoos tend to fade and blur over time, making them easier to cover. On the other hand, a fresh or well-preserved tattoo may require more creativity and skill to successfully disguise. In some cases, it might be beneficial to undergo laser tattoo removal sessions to lighten the old tattoo before attempting a cover up.
2. Size and location
It is important to consider the size of the original tattoo when planning a cover up. Generally, a bigger and more detailed design will be necessary to effectively cover a large, dark or bold tattoo. Additionally, tattoos located on areas of the body with thin, delicate skin may be more difficult to cover up due to the increased chances of ink spreading and blurring over time.
3. Coloration and ink density
Darker, more saturated tattoos are typically harder to cover up than lighter, less saturated designs. In many cases, cover-up tattoos will need to utilize darker colors and more detail to effectively disguise the old tattoo. However, a skilled artist may be able to use creative color combinations and shading techniques to work with lighter tattoos as well.
4. Choice of cover up design
Choose a design that you love and feel confident about, as it will become a permanent part of your body. It is a good idea to discuss the design options with your tattoo artist, who can suggest specific elements or techniques that will effectively conceal the original tattoo.
How to Cover Up Tattoos
There are various methods and techniques employed by tattoo artists to create effective cover ups. Some of the most common approaches include:
1. Using darker colors
Darker colors, such as black, blue, and deep purples, tend to have better coverage in comparison to lighter colors like yellow, pink or white. This makes them ideal for successfully concealing existing tattoos.
2. Adding intricate details and textures
Incorporating detailed elements, such as intricate patterns, stippling or geometric shapes, can help to distract the eye and disguise the original tattoo.
3. Strategic shading and color blending
Employing skillful shading techniques and blending various shades of a color can help to create a seamless transition between the old tattoo and the cover up design.
4. Adding layers and depth
Creating a multi-layered design with elements that overlap each other can effectively conceal the original tattoo by adding depth and visual interest.
Incredible Cover up Tattoos Ideas
So if you have that tattoo that you really want to change right now, how about seeing your tattoo artist and start to take reference of the best tattoo designs possible. To help you out and inspire you, here are the examples of the best tattoo cover-ups before and after.
Cover up tattoos for men
Realistic warrior tattoo cover up
Revamp the ink art with realistic warrior on arm. Before: It looks like a struggling tiger. AFTER? A 3D Samurai ready to bring the house down. There’s not even a sign of the old tattoo; thanks to the shading and shadows of the coverup tattoo to bring out the samurai to life.
Koi fish tattoo cover up
Turning a little scaly friend to a bigger scaly friend; a tattoo artist hid a snake into a big black koi fish with a few of elements. The new fish tattoo is much bigger so the old one was simply hidden underneath.
Wolf cover up tattoo
An aged tattoo is a discolored web. This wolf tattoo is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a new spiritual subject and have a vision of nature.
Buddha cover up
Koi carp fish tattoo
Here is another plan of covering up a faded tattoo with a bigger and darker ancient Eastern warrior mask. The plan shows which parts would be darker to help conceal the tattoo.
Nautic tattoo cover up
Make a design that won’t simply cover up a tattoo but something you will be proud to show off. Here’s a good cover up tattoo that looks awesome.
Makeup the existing tattoo
If the faded tattoo is still meaningful to you, the artist may select to add more ink to the design, adjust the shading to revive design. The artist may incorporate new elements to makeup the existing tattoo. Ultimately, the decision to modify or keep the tattoo as is, lies with yourself.
Skull with chrysanthemum cover up tattoo
The before tattoo might have been an attempt to cover up another tattoo but nonetheless, it does look like it needs to be covered up. There isn’t much color on the old tattoo so a skull (with shades for the parts of the old tattoos to actually hide) with a chrysanthemum could be the best cover.
Crow and birds flock tattoo Cover up
From a discernible tribal tattoo to a realistic crow. The entirety of the previous tattoo wasn’t really covered up but the remaining parts looked like a part of the new one.
Tiger cover up tattoo
The tattoo is almost faded and more than a bad design, this one needs the more hiding. Luckily it isn’t hard to do so. You can almost have any design that you want.
Steampunk cover up tattoo
Wish you can change only a part of your old tattoo? Well here, the only covered up part was the Cheshire cat tattoo; replaced with a cool 3D gears tattoo. The quote was left behind and was improved by a few designs.
Biochemical soldier cover up tattoo
If it’s quite hard to override the colors of your old tattoo, you can have it on your new one. It may not be that much obvious but some of the blue hues of the old tattoos are still seen on the new one. Somehow it easily combines well with the new design.
Cover up tattoos for women
Cover up the baby devil with vibrant lily flowers
No signs of a baby devil with a fork, right? The new tattoo covered it up by creating lilies in shades of black, red and orange which is dark enough to conceal the previous design.
Cover up with realistic dragonfly
The previous tattoo is slightly smaller so it’s easier to cover it up. The challenge would be to cover it up with something much better than the last. The answer? A beautiful and colorful dragonfly; the previous tattoo lost in its shapes and colors.
Here’s another design where the previous tattoo wasn’t entirely hidden behind another tattoo. Rather, it was mixed into the new one. Here, the little butterfly was accompanied by more butterflies, roses and an enchanting dream catcher.
Mermaid and the planet cover up
Lighter colored tattoos are rather hard to hide but here, they found a way to make it work. Since the older tattoo is more on blues, the new tattoo consisted of the same color as well especially on the part where the old tattoo was.
Portrait cover up tattoo
Swirls or tribal designs are much better hidden on shadows if you want it the easy way, or even an abstract design which could rather be challenging.
Back Cover up Grave stone heart roses
Here, we can see the plan that went on to cover up an existing tattoo. Instead of covering it up all out, the artist decided to make it better by camouflaging it and making it a part of the new tattoo. Plus the artist made it look more polished by adding deeper shadows to make it pop out.
Here’s another plan showing how to pull off a cover-up tattoo. You and your artist could be able to get inspiration on how to make your new design fit well with your previous one.
Cover up bad tattoos with colored magnolia
Have that embarrassing statement tattoo you got back you when younger? Worry no more as you can now have it covered up in ink. Like really covering it up with ink, but in a beautiful and artistic way. Add some elements to make it look like an abstract masterpiece.
Here’s another example that proves you don’t need the darker colors to hide an old tattoo. However the old one is faded by time so it’s rather much easier to do the new one.
Previous tattoo design with brighter colors could be masked by darker shadows or by more colorful designs like in this one. From a dull star to a brilliant dream catcher, it couldn’t get any better.
Poppy Cover up tattoo
Here’s another evidence that you can make up old tattoos and turn it to fabulous ones. The old pouncing tiger tattoo is now hidden in the shadows and shade of a new flower tattoo.
Dark Cover Up Tattoos
If you have a mistake or unwanted ink that is too visible or too obvious, a dark cover up tattoo might be an ideal choice. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Tribal designs: These versatile patterns can work wonders for hiding old tattoos, especially if they have thick, bold lines that can easily cover the previous design.
- Dark floral: For a more feminine touch, consider a dark floral design with plenty of shading to effectively hide the old ink.
- Blackout tattoos: If you want a fresh start or a complete transformation, blackout tattoos are an ideal option. A skilled artist can cover a large area with solid black ink, even hiding old tattoos completely.
Dog half sleeve tattoo in dark theme
Skull and landscape
Space and planets
Realistic Owl forearm cover up tattoo
Realistic horse half sleeve tattoo
medusa and skull full sleeve tattoo
Japanese dragon cover up
Small cover up tattoos
For small tattoos that need covering, consider these compact design ideas:
- Tiny symbols: A small anchor, dagger, or key can effectively mask a small tattoo while adding an interesting detail to your ink collection.
- Minimalistic designs: A simple line or shape, such as a triangle, square, or circle, can efficiently cover a small tattoo while maintaining a clean, minimal look.
- Dainty flowers: Small, delicate floral designs or even a minimalistic outline of a flower, can serve as an appealing and straightforward cover-up solution.
Small feather ear tattoo cover up
Leaves collarbone cover up tattoo for women
Scorpion and flower
Wrist cover up tattoos
The wrist is a popular tattoo placement for males and females, but it can also be difficult to cover. Consider these ideas for wrist cover-ups:
- Bands and Cuffs: Broad bands or detailed cuffs can provide an elegant way to cover up smaller wrist tattoos.
- Feather Designs: The flowing lines of a feather tattoo can conceal smaller wrist tattoos seamlessly.
- Inspirational Quotes: Meaningful words or phrases can conceal previous ink while providing daily inspiration.
- Ambigrams: These unique designs read the same or display a different message when viewed upside-down, providing an innovative way to cover up a wrist tattoo.
Wrist band extended to blackout forearm tattoo
Squirrel wrist cover up tattoo
Cover up the faded tattoo with flowers on wrist
It’s much easier to cover tattoos that are faded away by time and have less shades in them; like this one. From a faded bird to simple and yet beautiful design, it would even be safe to say it’s the only tattoo there.
Hand Cover Up Tattoos
Hands are a challenging location for tattoo cover-ups due to their high visibility and the intricacy of the designs needed to effectively conceal the original art. Some ideas for hand cover-ups include:
- Geometric Patterns: Bold lines and shapes can effectively cover up a hand tattoo while making a striking statement.
- Roses and Flowers: Detailed floral designs are ideal for covering up tattoos on the hand, as the tattoo’s flow can divert the eye from the original artwork.
Realistic eye hand cover up tattoo
Finger Cover-Up Tattoos
Finger tattoos can be difficult to cover up due to their small surface area and close proximity to the skin. Some ideas for finger cover-ups include:
- Bold Bands: Similar to the wrist, these dense bands can wrap around a finger to conceal any tattoo underneath.
- New Symbols: Transforming the original tattoo into a new symbol or icon can give it a fresh new look.
- Word Alteration: Changing the text of a previous tattoo to create a new, meaningful message is a clever way to cover up ink on the fingers.
Spider finger cover up tattoo
Crown finger tattoo cover up
Dagger finger cover up tattoo
forearm cover up tattoos
If you’re looking to cover a tattoo on your forearm, consider these options:
- Abstract or watercolor designs: With their flowing, organic shapes and splashes of color, these tattoos can effectively mask the old ink and create a unique forearm piece.
- Portraits or scenery: A beautifully rendered portrait or landscape can serve as a stunning cover-up and make a statement on your forearm.
- Larger symbols or objects: An intricate compass, clock, or anchor design can effectively obscure a previous tattoo while adding an eye-catching feature to your forearm.
Chinese character to Ocean creatures
Japanese pavilion cover up tattoo
Black and white rose and butterfly forearm tattoo
Chest cover up tattoos
If you are looking to cover up a tattoo on your chest, consider these ideas:
- Large-scale wing designs: Angel wings or bird wings can create an impressive chest piece while successfully masking old ink.
- Portraits: An intricately detailed portrait can effectively cover an old tattoo, especially if the new design has an extensive background with color and shading.
- Japanese-themed tattoos: Consider working with your tattoo artist to create a traditional Japanese-themed chest piece, such as a dragon or koi fish, to handle visible or unwanted tattoos.
Ripped skin medusa chest cover up tattoo
Chest tattoo cover up
Arm cover up tattoos
Arm tattoo cover up ideas are remarkably versatile, and with the right design, you can effectively conceal old ink. Here are a few ideas:
- Sleeves: Full or half sleeves covering the entire arm are well-suited for concealing multiple tattoos or larger designs. Choose a theme that interests you, such as nature, mythology, or art.
- Mandalas: Intricate and symmetrical, mandalas can effectively cover smaller arm tattoos and incorporate a striking design.
Forearm tattoo extended to a warrior and raven full sleeve ink
Cover up the little sign with the artistic skull tattoo
The shadows across the skulls made it possible to cover up the previous design. The best part about the new tattoo is that it’s way much cooler than the previous design which wouldn’t make you regret having it, ever.
Cover up the guitar with two roses on arm
One more way of making sure a tattoo is perfectly covered up is to follow its shape. It may not be easy especially when it’s tribal or abstract designs. But with this one, it’s rather easy to choose roses since it’s rather round in the top and the stem is smaller which is perfect to cover a guitar tattoo.
Cover up the old tattoo with portrait
Think your old tattoo is slightly boring? Then recreate the theme by adding new elements and subject your old design. The portrait would be the center of the attention now and would make the eyes fall away from the covered up tattoo.
3D Dragonfly cover up
Words are much easier to cover up but the problem most of the time is that these take much more space especially when in sentences. So the best way is to make your new tattoo bigger. Here, the new tattoo is a hyper realistic dragonfly.
Colored full sleeve cover up tattoo
In this, the previous tattoo is based right in the middle of the arm, in the elbow section. Covering it up would require a bigger tattoo but somehow, due to placement, it would be kind of awkward. The solution? Cover the entire sleeve and the previous tattoo would be hidden behind colors and beautiful designs.
Medusa tattoo cover up
If it’s hard to conceal the tattoo (especially when it’s all black) on the new tattoo, then the best way is hide the tattoo behind the darker shadows and move the main subject somewhere that will not show the old tattoo. An intricate design of medusa style is perfect for the complex background.
Simple tattoos were really in before but now, since artists and techniques have evolved, the designs were more detailed and complicated. Here’s a Before and After cover up tattoo showcasing the vast difference on the designs.
Cover up your old tattoo design with a much better one, like a hyper realistic cat tattoo with popping colors incredible detail. The colors, though not entirely dark, could definitely cover the previous one.
3D Rose cover up tattoo
Hiding these 5 stars aren’t really that hard; thanks to the very simple design. Darker colors and shadows could very easily conceal it and that’s exactly what the artist did. But the design of the new tattoo is far from simple and boring.
3D Skull with watch cover up tattoo
Before, it was a scorpion-like creature. Now it’s a 3D surreal clock and skull tattoo which totally hides the previous tattoo. Even if you scrutinize the tattoo now, you wouldn’t really be finding that creature which is probably a good thing seeing your new one rocks.
Now the harder one: how do you hide a full sleeve tattoo which is mostly in black? It may seem impossible but merely adding designs and a bit more of color and whites to add a 3D effect.
Shoulder Cover up tattoos
Shoulder blade tattoos provide more creative freedom due to their larger surface area. Some ideas for shoulder blade cover-ups are:
- Mythical Creatures: Phoenixes, dragons, or other fantasy creatures can provide a detailed, stunning cover-up design.
- Portraits: Beautiful, intricate portraits can effectively conceal the original tattoo while showcasing artistry.
- Landscapes: Scenes of nature, city skylines, or other landscapes can provide an awe-inspiring and visually captivating cover-up design.
Rose and swirls cover up on shoulder blade
Here’s another plan to entirely cover a tattoo with a much bigger one. Fill it out with colors, especially on the parts of the design where the old tattoo shows.
From Spider to Batman
The transition has never been better. Through the plan, we could see where the old tattoo was hidden on shoulder and of course, it where the darker shades are.
Skull with cherry blossoms cover up tattoo
The good thing with having to cover up a back tattoo is that you would have more space to occupy so that the old tattoo can be covered well.
Bigger, darker and more beautiful tattoo designs are all it really takes to cover up smaller tattoos especially on the back area.
Cover up new Flowers TaT
If you don’t really want to cover up your old tattoo by shadows and darker colors, you could still do it with lighter shades and softer strokes. However with further inspection, you can still see the old tattoo’s outline. But with the new tattoo’s design, it’s actually great work.
It doesn’t mean that you have to hide a tattoo behind another one, you can settle with darker shades and designs. You can always have a beautiful piece of art as a cover up for a tattoo.
Watercolor cover up tattoos
Watercolor tattoos use soft, vibrant colors that mimic the look of watercolor paintings, providing an artistic and creative touch to the cover-up. The blend of colors and fluidity of the design can effectively obscure the older tattoo while creating a visually appealing and unique result.
Another tip in masking a previous tattoo is to go with the color. If you’re old tattoo is blue, like in this case, it would be good to cover it up with something blue as well, just like the sea and sky. The other parts can be covered by silhouettes and shadows.
Watercolor mandala cover up tattoo
The old tattoo is rather an easy case but it doesn’t mean you just have to go with any designs. Here, a mandala in watercolor style is more than just a cover up. It’s also the perfect tattoo to have.
Cover the spider with the bird in watercolor style
Looking really carefully, you could see parts of the spider’s body perfectly camouflaged into the head and neck of the new tattoo which is a bird. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t really appear unless you’re looking for it. And the popping colors of the new tat would really make you feel like you don’t have to.
Diamond cover up by Sile Sanda
Cartoon characters aren’t just for kids, but sometimes, having it as tattoo doesn’t really work out. This Tweety Bird tattoo is now covered up with a shining red gem which is a hundred times more lovely.
Name cover up tattoos
For those who’ve gotten names tattooed on their bodies, cold tattoos might appear dull. However, incorporating a variety of artistic elements can not only conceal any name effectively, but also make them eye-catching. Ideas for name cover-ups include:
- Transforming the name into an abstract design or pattern by intertwining it with other elements.
- Incorporating the name into a flower, vine, or landscape design to camouflage it within the overall artwork.
- Employing heavy shading or dark colors to cover the name entirely.
- Using a new image or symbol that incorporates the old name’s letters in a unique manner.
Name to Sword and skull
Name cover up tattoo with butterflies
Cover up name with feather on wrist
The thing about wrist tattoos is that these are smaller, and so it would be easier to cover up. The previous tattoo was a little wing and a name. Then those were covered by two feathers, one which is darker to entirely cover the first tattoo.
Neck cover up tattoos
Covering up a neck tattoo may seem challenging, but these ideas can help make the process easier:
- Lace or filigree designs: A detailed lace or filigree pattern can effectively conceal neck tattoos while adding an elegant touch.
- Feathers: A trailing feather design can provide an attractive solution for hiding a neck tattoo and adding a dynamic touch to your body art.
Lily flowers neck cover up tattoo
Realistic feather neck cover up tattoo
Butterfly and rose cover up tattoo on neck.JPG
Moth cover up neck tattoo
Neck tattoos are rather small so the first tattoo, which is a cross is more on the easier tattoos to conceal. The cover up tattoo was a moth which is perfect with its fair parts of dark and shaded areas. But the details on it definitely makes it worthy of a cover.
Leg Cover Up Tattoos
Leg tattoos provide plenty of space for creativity and cover up ideas. Here are some suggestions for covering up old ink:
- Nature-inspired designs: Create a full leg sleeve with a forest, ocean, or mountain landscape to give your leg a new, breathtaking appearance.
- Animals: Incorporate a striking animal design, such as a tiger, lion, or wolf, to serve as a focal point and cover most of the unwanted ink.
- Geometric patterns: Geometric designs with plenty of lines and shapes can efficiently mask old tattoos while creating a modern, stylish look.
Tiger and birds leg cover up tattoo
Medusa tattoo cover up
Snake tattoo cover up
Lovers under blue night
Ankle cover up tattoos
Ankle tattoos can be tricky to cover, but these ideas may provide the perfect solution:
- Wraparound designs: Chain links or a vine with leaves and flowers can wrap around the ankle, successfully covering the old tattoo and creating a continuous, unbroken design.
- Bracelet anklet tattoos: A beaded or charm bracelet design can effectively hide an unwanted ankle tattoo while adding an ornamental touch.
Rose and skull cover up on ankle
Make up the tribal tattoo with flowers on ankle
Black Rose cover up tattoo on ankle
Roses are rather simple but with some coloring techniques, it would be great to the eyes and also, a great way to cover an old tattoo with around the same size and shape as it is.
Flower cover up tattoos
Flowers have been a popular subject in tattoo culture for ages. And they make fantastic cover-up choices due to their intricate details and varied colors. Floral designs can work wonders in hiding the original tattoo while still maintaining visual harmony. Examples of flowers that are often used in cover-ups include roses, lilies, peonies, and chrysanthemums.
Cover up the faded birds with vibrant flowers in watercolor style
Since the birds on the first tattoo are rather far apart, it could be quite simple to hide them on a flower design. It would actually look like there’s nothing beneath the new tattoo.
Tattoo flower coverup
When you look at the Before and After pictures, it’s obvious where the old tattoo used to be. But for someone who just saw the new one, they would probably think there’s no way it would conceal anything.
Rose cover up back tattoo
A back tattoo of a tiger is now hidden under a beautiful 3D rose with amazing details.
There are also instances that you won’t really have to cover up a tattoo with a new one. Sometimes you can simply make it much better and here is an example.
Before: A rather cute tattoo of flowers and vines and a skull. After: Hide the tattoo beneath a a beautiful flower tattoo with shadows to hide the original design.
Turn the Chinese character to beautiful sunflowers tattoo
The old tattoo is a Chinese character but seeing as it isn’t as dark as they once might have been, it could be easy to cover it up without using too much shades and shadows. The darker parts of the new tattoos are strategically placed on the lines that are harder to conceal. The result is actually pretty impressive.
Poppy cover up tattoo
Since the lioness tattoo is fading, it’s much simpler to cover it up with a colorful tattoos or those with darker shades. Women usually go with flower designs since there’s an excuse to use up all the space for coloring and shading. And these are extremely beautiful.
Flower cover up side tattoo
Here, the flower and the hand is molded into the shapes of the new tattoo to hide every side without having to cover much more space since the original one is slightly big. You could see the outline of the new tattoo on the Before picture.
Lily cover up
Lily’s are very beautiful and also meaningful so it’s not surprising to choose it as the cover up . The original tattoo was actually smaller and has less shades so there was no problem covering it up. The new tattoo even had spaces of skin so it’s not really obvious it was used to hide another design.
Hibiscus and butterfly cover up
The old tattoo is rather simple to cover up, but get that opportunity to cover it up and make a much more beautiful design. Here, an old tattoo turns into a realistic and beautiful Hibiscus flower and butterfly.
Covering up a tattoo doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By considering the location, size, and desired style of the new design, you can turn that unwanted ink into a work of art that you’ll cherish for years to come. With creativity, attention to detail, and a skilled tattoo artist, a cover-up can serve as a beautiful reinvention of your body art.