55+ Incredible cover up tattoos before and after

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 35% 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 various signs that could remind you of the tattoo regret. 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 The motif no longer represents me.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 body 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, you need preparation to cover up the previous one.

What is tattoo cover up?

Camouflage faded ink with space planets on back

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 wrongly spelled tattoo or basically just a horrible design you wouldn’t be able to really show anyone. Your tattoo artist should be someone you know or you’re comfortable working with. If you know their work, it would be so much better. And simply put, a good tattoo artist would know how to work their way around bad designs and try to make it better. In short, they’ve got the skills and talents that makes them the best around town.

…but in case of bad tats…

But in the event you did get the tat that is set to be the World’s Most Embarrassing Tattoo to a milder list of Tattoos That Will Make you Laugh, lose not your hope. There is still a way of making it to the gallery of the Most Awesome Tattoos Ever. How? Well, by covering it up…with another tattoo!

Yep, you read it right. Covering up your old tattoo with a new one is quite a bit of a challenge; thinking about how to camouflage your previous tattoo to a new one would require imagination and skills especially when the previous tattoo is big. However, it’s not impossible. In fact, most of these cover-up tattoos are success stories. If brainstormed well and made by a great artist, it would even be like there’s nothing hidden in those new tattoos at all.

Get that Cover-Up Success Story NOW!

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 best tattoo cover-ups you would ever see.

Revamp the ink art with realistic warrior on arm

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.

Turn a discernible tribal tattoo to a realistic crow

Cover up with crow and birds flock on upper arm

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.

Dragonfly cover up tattoo

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.

Flower cover up tattoo

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.

Watercolor bird cover up tattoo

Cover the spider whith 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.

Portrait cover up sleeve 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.

Cover up the faded tattoo with flowers on wrist

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.

women tattoos designs for cover up before and after

Here’s another evidence that you can cover up old tattoos and turn it to fabulous ones. The old pouncing tiger tattoo is now hidden in the shadows and shade of a now spectacular design.

back cover_up grave stone heart roses

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.

3D dragonfly cover 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.

3D lily cover up tattoo

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 the little sign with artistic skull

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.

3D Rose cover up tattoo

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

3D Skull with watch cover up tattoo

Before, it was a scorpion-like creature. Now it’s a 3D surreal clock and skull design 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.

A before and after picture showing the amount of work Nathan Mould put on a sleeve

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.

Amazing cover up tattoo

Cover up large tattoo on the back

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.

batman tattoo coverup

From Spider to Batman

The transition has never been better. Through the plan, we could see where the old tattoo was hidden and of course, it where the darker shades are.

Bad Tattoos Brilliantly Covered Up using colored magnolia flower

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.

Boat cover up tattoo

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.

Dream Catcher Cover Up Tattoo

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.

Cat cover up tattoo

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.

Colored full sleeve cover up tattoo

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.

Cover before & afte bird tattoo

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 tattoo

Make a design that won’t simply cover up a tattoo but something you will be proud to show off. Here’s a good design that could cover up old tattoos pretty well and looks awesome.

coverup flowers

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.

Hibiscus and butterfly cover up tattoo

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.

Diamond cover up tattoo

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.

Dream Catcher Cover Up Tattoo Before & After

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.

Feather cover up wrist tattoo

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.

flower cover up tattoo by Andrey Grimmy

Flower cover up tattoo by Andrey Grimmy

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 cvoer up side tattoo

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.

Portrait cover tattoo

Hibiscus and butterfly cover up

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.

Koi fish tattoo cover up

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 little elements of red. The new tattoo is much bigger so the old one was simply hidden underneath.

Lily cover up tattoo

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.

black sleeve tattoo cover up

Here is another plan of covering up a tribal tattoo with a bigger and darker ancient Eastern warrior mask. The plan shows which parts would be darker to help conceal the tattoo.

Mermaid cover up back tattoo

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.

Moth cover up nack tattoo

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.

Peacock Cover Up tattoo

Little and simple tattoos are rather a good bunch of tattoos to cover up since there is almost no restriction on how to cover it up, just like this beautiful Peacock cover up design to instantly hide a simple tattoo.

Portrait cover tattoo

Portrait cover up tattoo

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.

Portraitcover up tattoo

Rose cover up tattoo by Matt Jordan

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.

Portrait cover up tattoo

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.

Rose and butterfly cover up tattoo

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.

Rose cover up back tattoo

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.

Rose cover up back tattoo

Rose cover up tattoo

Rose cover up tattoo

A back tattoo of a tiger is now hidden under a beautiful 3D rose with amazing details.

Skull with chrysanthemum cover up tattoo

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.

Rose cover up tattoo

Rose cover up tattoo

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.

Skull cover up tattoos

Another plan to show which parts work best shaded to cover the tattoo underneath.

Rose new Cover up Tattoo

Tribal designs are significantly harder to cover up like the design of the old tattoo in this one. However, it’s pretty much concealed by roses which were aligned and formed well to hide the edges of the older tattoo.

Skull with cherry blossoms cover up tattoo

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.

Steampunk cover up tattoo

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.

tattoo flower coverup

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.

Tattoos by Rodney Eckenberger

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.

Tiger cover up tattoo

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.

Biochemical soldier cover up tattoo

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.

Watercolor flower cover up tattoo

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.

Watercolor rose tattoo cover up

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.

Watercolor with mandala cover up tattoo

Watercolor with 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.

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  1. Hey. I’am looking for someone great to cover up my bad wing tattoo I have on my back?
    Looking to get this done as soon as problem. Thks

  2. I have a koi on my upper arm that I want covered, it’s only the outline of the fish, some water and small flower (outline only) I know it’s possible but ughhhh. Lol. I want it to look better and have movement, I eventually want to turn this into a full sleeve

  3. I need help with covering up or ideas how to cover five small stars spread a little apart on my upper arm
    thank you

  4. I need big-time help on a cover up on my forearm been wanting it done for 2 yrs ready to move on from it I’d be so appreciative thank you a n God bless

  5. Again the tattooist could have free reign of ideas or we could collaborate over as well again thank you ..

  6. My nephew has red lips over his heart and now needs it removed or covered up. Any ideas.

  7. I got a new tattoo and do not like it. Need to cover it up. Good to see this is possible. Sucks I wasted 280 and don’t even want it now.

  8. Have a butterfly tattoo inside my right ear. It was my first and I got with so much excitement and heart thinking with remembrance of my dear brother. All that said it needs help and I need advice from experts please.

  9. Hi. I needs a small star covered up on my hand . Can’t find nothing that might do the job. Hopefully you can help and send me some ideas / pics


  11. Would like to cover up a black panther I have on my shoulder area.

  12. Need a cross covered on my forearm.. anyone any ideas of what design would be best☺

  13. Hello I’m looking to cover up a forearm tattoo of a panther with patriotic theme any ideas

  14. most of them don’t completely cover the old tattoo and those who do, are just either too dark or the composition is so weird it looks as if it’s trying to hide something

  15. Big scars on forearm need it covered after 20 years of hidding them can anyone recommend a good tattoo artist in London as there so many thanks

  16. so i have a chest piece that i need covered up its going to have to be an entire chest piece to cover thes e and i really need help drawing it and someone to do that can actually make it happen…its my biggest insecurity..

  17. I have a dragon / gargoyle tattoo on my arm and have been looking
    Through so many patterns to cover it up wit
    10 inches long
    5 inches wide
    Please help me find something

  18. I got the name Jerry on my hip on the front side of my body. Need some ideas to cover it up with.

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