Just as a phoenix rises from the ashes born anew, a tattoo you no longer desire can be made into something beautiful. Although people say tattoos last forever, the truth reveals that they last until you don’t want them. When you want a different tattoo, look into tattoo cover up ideas first. On the other hand, you can also remove them after applying some tattoo numbing cream, but covering up looks more beautiful and repurposes the space. When getting a cover up tattoo, you’ll want to dish out the dough on an expensive artist. You want it done right the second time, since with each extra layer, the complexity and size of the cover up grows. Anyways, this gallery contains over sixty tattoo cover up ideas, complete with a small guide to the different types! For more information on the staples of tattoo care and keeping, check our resources article.
Related Article: Tattoo Removal
Love the coloring!
Stunning work , right?
Type One: Finishing the Tattoo
Sometimes, all it takes is a little coloring to fix up some line work. Many designs—especially realistic ones—are made with color or shading in mind. Only getting the line work inked hides the real potential of a tattoo. Tattoo artists will usually recommend this option if it’s possible, but you might want to ask about it anyways. Try to stick to studios that sit you in a good tattoo chair, since they tend to be more professional–and at the very least, more comfortable! Also make sure you have some aftercare tattoo lotion all set up to ensure your tattoo looks and feels great while it heals.
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Don’t have a tattoo yet? Thinking about getting one? You can ease the pain by using a special numbing cream or spray for tattoo sessions. Below is our favorite tattoo numbing product. Read our full reviews here!
Type Two: Samesies
Even if you can’t finish the tattoo, sometimes you can cover it up with the same concept. The shadowed or heavily lined part of the new tattoo will easily cover it up. This is a good option if you received an absolutely terrible tattoo, but still feel attached to the concept behind it. These larger versions of the tattoo usually completely obscure the original.
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Type Three: Monochrome Overlay
Above all, tribal-inspired tattoos that heavily feature line work are possibly the best way to hide another black and white tattoo. As a result, the maze of black ink makes it close to impossible to make out the old tattoo. In order to notice it, you have to actively look for it. Grabbing some lidocaine cream during the painful process of your tattoo session will help both you and your artist focus on creating a new image. Another way these can be done is to make the original lines part of the art—making this tattoo cover up idea hidden in plain sight! Experienced artists might even be able to lighten dark areas of tattoos that have mostly black ink.
Type Four: Colored Overlay
These ones are a lot harder, as the artist has to deal with both black and colored ink. A good way to break down this tattoo cover up idea is to think of the different colors involved first, and then experiment with designs that have things with a similar color. In example, the green of a dragon becomes the green of the leaves of a flower. Even though a little bit of the old one peels out from behind the design, it integrates perfectly. In addition, if that doesn’t work, colors may be hidden in darker ink colors within the shadows of a different design. In example, a psychedelic color scheme translates into a swag dinosaur quite well. If you’re an artist, grab a good tattoo table so that you can reach every part of your client while giving them a fresh new beginning.
Type Five: Complete Overlay
Lastly, some people choose to completely darken the tattoo. Whether it becomes a black box or a twisting tribal tattoo, the solid black ink ensures that the tattoo will be covered forever. In my opinion, you can also make up plenty of deep meanings. At any rate, it could represent a void in your life, or perhaps it represents something about the society you live in. At any rate, cover up tattoos gain the meaning you give them, and serve as more than just a cover up. However, if you give them no meaning, you don’t use the tattoo to its full extent.
Of course, an experienced artist can go crazy and put whatever you want on top. No matter what kind of tattoo cover up idea you choose, its quality depends entirely on the artist. Don’t be afraid to shell out a little extra cash to make sure that the cover up looks amazing. Thankfully, it’s rare for cover ups to fail to cover up a tattoo, but it might be possible that colored tattoos will fade over time. This is normal for all colored tattoos, though, not just cover ups. Ultimately, what matters is that you love your body and the art on it!