A Cover-Up Tattoo: Tips & Advice

Cover-up is English for hide and thus describes well what a cover up tattoo is. A new tattoo is tattooed over the old one, making the old tattoo invisible. Below we tell you more about cover-ups.

Reasons for A Cover Up

When you get a tattoo it is wise to think about it beforehand and to consider that it is a permanent decoration of the body. Yet it can always happen that you are no longer satisfied with your tattoo. There can be several reasons for this:

  • The tattoo used to suit you, but now it doesn’t; you’ve changed your tastes
  • The tattoo is not beautiful anymore, or in worse cases was never beautiful at all
  • You have tattooed the name of someone you no longer like, for example an ex-lover
  • You have a standard tattoo, but want something more unique
  • You no longer stand behind the symbolic meaning of the tattoo

How A Cover Up Works

Tattooing a cover-up is not as easy as simply tattooing a new tattoo over the old one. It can be compared to an existing drawing that you want to draw over. Without the proper techniques, you will not get a good result and will continue to see the original drawing.

A cover-up tattoo does not work much differently. The shapes and colors of the original image must be taken into account. A tattoo with many light colors is easier to hide than one with many dark colors. In any case, the new tattoo will always be larger.

Getting A Cover Up

If you have decided to hide your old tattoo under a new one, there are a few things to keep in mind. As mentioned earlier in this article, the cover-up gets bigger, but simply picking a bigger tattoo won’t get you there. There is no eraser that can be used to polish away the old lines, so to speak. The tattoo artist will have to take the original tattoo into account. It is possible to go over it with a darker color, or incorporate the shapes into the new design.

The possibilities for this new design differ depending on the original tattoo and the wishes for the new one. It is therefore strongly recommended to be open to ideas, and not to go to the tattoo shop with a fixed plan. Of course you can already have a rough idea of your new tattoo, but for the best result you should give the professional tattoo artist the freedom to make a suitable design. For a cover-up, a good discussion with the artist is perhaps even more important than for a regular tattoo.

What Can & Can Not Be Done

Good cover-ups completely eliminate the tattoo, and with the right design, there is very little that cannot be done. Organic shapes such as feathers, birds and flowers are especially good to incorporate into the new tattoo. Portraits, on the other hand, are less suitable and in many cases even impossible. It is possible if a portrait is tattooed over a portrait, but the new portrait will inevitably have more color.

For the new tattoo, color is very important. A black-and-grey tattoo can go well over an original black-and-grey, but not over a colorful oldschool tattoo. Again, the comparison with the drawing can be made. You can color a coloring page, but you can’t color it out, as it were. For this reason, a cover-up often contains more color than the original.
It is important that the new tattoo design fits over the old tattoo(s) and that the old tattoo is not too dark.