Today's Top Tattoo Cover-Up Designs and Where to Get One

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Most people wish they could get rid of tattoos they got when they were younger for several reasons, including regret or a desire for a different design.

Fortunately, there are methods to conceal unwanted tattoos.

You can use darker colours to cover the previous tattoo and replace it with your desired body art. For this to work, the tattoo needs to be larger, and the ink needs to be more deeply applied to hide the original design.

It takes time and effort to pull off a cover-up.

Some tattooists won’t even touch a cover-up because they don’t feel comfortable doing a new tattoo on top of an existing one.

Pearl Lemon Tattoos is reputed for its careful and polished work in removing undesirable tattoos.

Are you planning on covering up that funny old tattoo? Talk to us.

Everything You Need To Know About Cover-Ups

A tattoo cover-up is an act of tattooing over a previously unwanted tattoo with a new tattoo. It is usually seen as one of two options for removing an unwanted tattoo; the other is laser removal

Covering up an unwanted tattoo is also generally cheaper than tattoo removal.

Closeup of a upper thigh tattoo of a woman
Tattoo design, creative artist working process. Close-up hand of tattoo master with tattoo machine

Cover-ups Use More Ink

Typically, cover-ups require the use of darker, more pigmented inks to hide an existing tattoo successfully. This is particularly true for tattoos with a lot of black ink, which is to say, most tattoos.

To ensure that no traces of the original tattoo show through, a cover-up tattoo artist must use at least twice as much ink as they would for a regular tattoo.

This can be a challenge for customers looking to update their body art with something brighter or more vivid.

For example, if someone wished to get a cover-up on a black tribal tattoo with a lot of detail, the tattooists would have few solutions other than to cover the tattoo with a big solid black pattern.

Covering Up Your Tattoos: The Benefits and Drawbacks

Whether you need to replace your tattoo because you find it inappropriate in the present or just want to update an old one to fit your current style, tattoo cover-ups each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Tattoos that have faded or been damaged can be preserved or entirely replaced by placing a fresh layer of ink over them and using darker colours to cover up the older tattoo.

However, while getting a cover-up, the tattoo needs to be larger, and the ink needs to be more deeply applied to hide the original design. 

If you change your mind about getting a laser removal later, removing the additional layers and higher pigment concentrations will require many sessions.

Tattoo master preparing sketch for tattoo
Back neck tattoo of a woman

The Methods of Cover-Up Tattooing

The first step in getting a cover-up tattoo involves the artist capturing a photo and importing it into Photoshop.

Using Photoshop, your tattoo artist can layer new artwork on top of your current tattoo to create a seamless cover-up. You can merge the two during the editing process to demonstrate how the new design will blend with the current tattoo.

By doing so, they can cover the region with a new tattoo design based on the existing tattoo’s borders. 

The cover-up tattoo must be significantly larger to hide the original tattoo completely.

Moreover, covering up a tattoo is easier if it is old and faded. For cover-ups, bold and dark hues typically generate the best outcome.

Considerations Before Getting Cover-Up Tattoos

Think about the following as you weigh your options for a cover-up tattoo:

Original tattoo's ink colour

The colours and designs of the original tattoo are more adaptable if they are less bold and the ink is applied more thinly. Tattoos that use a lot of black ink are more noticeable and require more effort to cover up than lighter tattoos that use fewer colours. 

Tattoos done in the watercolour style, for instance, are more feasible for cover-ups than standard tattoos. Your artist may suggest starting with a fading process whenever more intense colours are employed.

Female Tattoo Artist Tattooing Male Client In Studio
Bearded tattoo artist

The tattoo's age

Tattoos that have faded over time are less of a challenge to cover up since the ink has had more time to fade away, giving the artist a more blank canvas-like surface to work with. 

Tattoos that aren’t as bright won’t need as many treatments as the laser treatment before they can be concealed.

The tattoo's original layout

The easiest tattoos to cover up are those with limited colours, no outlines, and a gradation colour scheme covering a tiny surface area.

Your cover-up tattoo design

Unlike having a whole new tattoo, getting a cover-up tattoo does not give you a clean slate. It’s working over an existing one and not creating an image from scratch. However, the original tattoo can be faded to open up more creative spaces for the cover-up. 

Take note that the greater the complexity of your cover-up design, the better your chances of success.

Dimensions of the first tattoo

Your new cover-up tattoo will likely end up being bigger than the old one. Tattoo artists often have to increase the size to hide pre-existing markings or make room for a better design.

Tattoo Artist making a tattoo on hand
Female tattooist prepares tattoo machine

Tattoo Cover-Up Aftercare

Please note that any tattoo’s quality is only manifested when it heals. 

In getting a tattoo, you and the artist are co-creators. To ensure the best possible results from your new tattoo, you must visit a qualified professional tattoo artist and get proper guidance on proper aftercare at home.

After getting your tattoo, here are some things you should do to help it heal properly. 

  1. Keep it clean.
  2. Once your tattoo has rested for an hour, you can take off the plastic covering. You should use an antibacterial soap twice a day to clean your tattoo.
  3. Let it dry naturally, or pat it dry. Avoid Rubbing.
  4. For the next three days, apply a thin layer of antibacterial ointment three times a day. If you want to accelerate the healing process, consider using a fragrance-free lotion on day four and continue doing so for another week and a half.

How to Find a Reliable Tattoo Studio

Find a tattooist you can trust before getting started on your cover-up. Talk to people you know who have tattoos you like, check with local tattoo parlours, and use the internet to research artists. 

Once you have a shortlist of potential artists, it’s time to start asking questions and looking at portfolios.

Avoid making a hasty choice.

You shouldn’t schedule an appointment until you’re sure of yourself.

Meet up with the tattooist you’ve chosen to discuss ideas and develop a plan. Inquire about the most effective methods of concealment. 

Cooperate to develop a cover-up pattern that appeals to both of you. 

Pay attention to the suggestions your artist makes. Remember that they have the knowledge and experience to know if a specific design is possible.

Portrait of pensive tattoo master with tattooing machine
Crop tattooed man outside

Pearl Lemon Tattoos' Cover-Up Services

Finding a reputable tattoo parlour and skilled tattoo artist is the single most crucial step you can take before getting inked.

At Pearl Lemon Tattoos, we’re happy to show you examples of our work and answer any questions you may have. Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our customers. Thus we comply attentively with all of our established safety and hygiene protocols.

We take pride in providing the city’s most intricate and refined cover-up outputs.

Visit our website to check out our portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

An experienced artist is required for such a challenging task. Unfortunately, not every skilled tattoo artist can do cover-ups efficiently. The art of the cover-up tattoo is a specialised expertise.

A tattoo matching your skin tone is an option, but such tattoo ink is translucent, so it won't wholly conceal an existing one.

Although tattooing over scars is possible, it is more difficult than tattooing on healthy skin. For this reason, you should find a tattoo artist capable of covering up the scar or working it into the design.

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