5 ways to cover up a tattoo without removal


Thinking of getting some fresh ink lớn cover up that fading or embarrassing tattoo? This guide covers the process lớn help you choose the best cover up tattoo.

Bạn đang xem: 5 ways to cover up a tattoo without removal


You’ve gone through the most challenging part of the process — you’ve decided it’s time to lớn cover up your old tattoo. Maybe it reminds you of a time or decision you’d rather forget. Perhaps a previous tattoo artist didn’t capture your vision. Or maybe you’re just ready for a new piece of art. No matter the reason, you know it’s time to lớn get something new. 

But this decision leads to a whole host of questions. Where bởi you get a cover up tattoo? How much will it cost? vì all tattoo artists do cover ups? Will they even be able khổng lồ cover up your tattoo? 

Understanding how lớn choose a cover up tattoo can quickly become overwhelming. This guide gives you insight into:

Cover up tattoosHow they workWhat sort of designs are most easily coveredAverage costs

After reading, you’ll feel empowered, knowledgeable, and ready lớn book a cover up appointment. 

What Is A Cover Up Tattoo?

A cover up tattoo is a new thiết kế tattooed over the top of an existing tattoo so the old tattoo is no longer visible or is part of the new piece of art. Basically, you’re getting a tattoo over a tattoo. 

People Get to Cover Up Tattoos For Many Reasons, Including:

The original tattoo was poorly doneThe tattoo is a reminder of a difficult time in a person’s lifeThe tattoo faded or looks datedThey realize that the tattoo is offensive They want khổng lồ incorporate the tattoo in a new design

The reasons for wanting a cover up are as varied as the people who want them. Of course, the effectiveness of a cover up depends on the original tattoo and the cover up design. Old, faded tattoos in light colors lượt thích blues and greens are much easier lớn cover than a brand new all-black tattoo. Some tattoos are good candidates for a few laze tattoo removal sessions lớn fade the tattoo before getting a cover up. 

Before you decide the best method for getting rid of your unwanted tattoo, it’s essential to lớn understand your options & the likelihood of a cover up tattoo working for your particular piece.

Tattoo Removal vs. Tattoo Cover Up

When you’re starting khổng lồ think about getting rid of a tattoo that’s no longer “you,” your research will lead you to lớn two options: tattoo removal or tattoo cover up. The option that works best depends on various factors, including the qualities of the original tattoo, your skin type & tone, & your goals for the end result. It’s essential lớn understand all the elements involved in either option before deciding.

Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal involves using a laser khổng lồ enter into layers of the skin to target the ink of your unwanted tattoo. The tia laze breaks the layers of ink particles into smaller pieces, and your body’s white blood cells are then able to lớn absorb the ink. Tia laze tattoo removal works over time with continued sessions. Most people require an average of 10-12 15-minute sessions khổng lồ see complete removal results. Tia laze tattoo removal costs depend on elements such as the tattoo’s size, shape, ink color, ink type, placement, & skin type. 

For many people, laze tattoo removal leaves their skin without a trace of their old tattoo. For others, just a slight blush of màu sắc is visible at the old tattoo’s site. It’s usually so light that only someone who knew a tattoo was there can tell. 

Laser tattoo removal might work best for someone who wants no trace left of an old tattoo. An example might be a person who got a face tattoo in prison. This tattoo reminds the person of a decision they’d rather not remember every time they look in the mirror. It also may keep them from receiving or maintaining a job. A cover up tattoo wouldn’t work for this client’s end goal. They want no trace of a tattoo on their face. Laser tattoo removal is the best option in this scenario. 

If you have a hand, neck, or face tattoo from a difficult situation in your past, consider nhatroso.com’s INK-nitiative program. This community initiative provides safe, effective tattoo removal for those in need. Qualifying candidates include those who were incarcerated, were gang members, are survivors of human trafficking, or who wish to remove hate symbols or racist tattoos. 

Cover Up Tattoos After tia laze Removal





Cover Up Tattoo 

Tattoo cover ups work by tattooing a new thiết kế over your original, unwanted tattoo. It utilizes elements of the original design khổng lồ create something entirely new. 

A tattoo cover up would work well for someone ok with a tattoo in the same spot but wants a fresh new kiến thiết or to lớn hide the original. For example, someone who had their friend give them a stick & poke tattoo on their foot in high school might decide they’re ready for something more professional. They might work with a tattoo artist lớn design a beautiful new floral thiết kế that incorporates the black dye of the poke tattoo while completely hiding the original. 

A cover up tattoo may also be an excellent choice for someone simply looking to add a new piece lớn their body without the multiple sessions laze removal requires. For example, someone might have a faded sunflower tattoo on their back, but they dream about a large cosmos design. Working with a tattoo artist, they might utilize dark ink and a large design to cover up their original tattoo with new artwork. 

Remember that you can use laze tattoo removal in tandem with cover ups. In many cases, getting a few laser tattoo removal sessions to fade an original tattoo produces better results for covering the tattoo up and offers your tattoo artist more canvas opportunities. 

Other Ways lớn Cover Up a Tattoo



Other temporary options lớn cover up your tattoos include makeup or jewelry (like a bracelet over an unwanted wrist tattoo). Unfortunately, these options are short-term và are sometimes time-consuming to lớn apply. Additionally, they’re not full proof — makeup is easy to lớn rub or wash off.

The only surefire way khổng lồ get rid of an unwanted tattoo is tattoo removal or cover up. 

How a Cover Up Tattoo Works

If you’ve decided a cover up tattoo is the way lớn go, your next question is probably, “How exactly does this work?” 

The science behind a cover up tattoo has to bởi with the layers of your skin. The ink from your old tattoo sits in the dermis, the layer underneath your đứng đầu layers of skin (the epidermis). The new ink màu sắc also will be deposited in the dermis, where it will set with the old ink. 

Because of this mixing, a tattoo artist must consider the old và new colors when they pick ink for your cover up. For example, tattooing over an old blue tattoo with red ink will create purple. 

It’s also important lớn remember that darker inks will dominate. An old đen ink tattoo “covered” in hot pink will most likely remain primarily black. 

The Cover Up Journey Is A Process Involving Multiple Steps: 

Pick a Design. You probably already have lots of tattoo cover up ideas. Decide what sort of tattoo you’d like to use lớn cover up the old design. Consider size, color, thiết kế elements, & more. Choose an Artist. After you’ve healed from your removal sessions, or if none are required, meet with your cover-up tattoo artist khổng lồ discuss your design ideas. Get Your New Art! Get your cover up tattoo! It’s a great feeling khổng lồ see your cover up tattoo ideas come to lớn life.

Xem thêm: Ola City On The App Store

Unsure how to lớn choose a cover up tattoo? Don’t worry — read on for more ideas about the type of designs that will work best for you. 

Factors That Impact Covering a Tattoo 

As we mentioned previously, there are multiple factors khổng lồ consider when covering up a tattoo. You’ll want lớn consider these when thinking about how to choose a cover up tattoo.


The size of your existing tattoo will determine the minimum kích cỡ of your new tattoo. You’ll need something big enough to cover up the old piece. For example, if you have a full sleeve you’d like to cover up, your cover-up tattoo will likely need khổng lồ be a full sleeve as well. If you have a skull & crossbones the size of your palm on your back, your cover up will need lớn be that kích cỡ or likely larger. 


Faded tattoos are easier khổng lồ cover than dark tattoos. But the cover-up artist needs to lớn consider the color. The artist will determine whether the old màu sắc will show through. 

Additionally, having more colors in the original piece might make it more challenging to cover. For example, a colorful stained-glass window would be difficult khổng lồ cover with a light xanh sky unless you first receive extensive tattoo removal sessions khổng lồ fade the original. 


Older tattoos typically have more faded ink & blown lines, making them easier to cover. For example, a large, colored tattoo on your ankle that you got trăng tròn years ago might be easier to lớn cover up than a smaller đen tattoo you received last year. The older tattoo had more time to absorb, making it easier for the new ink to sink into your skin. 


The thiết kế of your old tattoo factors into the ability to lớn cover it up. Detailed designs can be more difficult lớn cover than simpler ones. The cover up tattoo might need lớn be detailed too. It would be difficult to cover up a portrait of your pet with a simple line tribal tattoo, for example. Going the “opposite” direction, lượt thích incorporating a simple line tattoo into a new, detailed portrait is much easier!


Your tattoo artist’s experience level và specialties are critical elements to deciding who to lớn work with khổng lồ get your cover up. Even if you’ve found someone whose work you love, it’s essential to lớn work with someone who has experience doing cover up tattoos specifically. 

You may have found an artist who does beautiful full-color floral designs and wants khổng lồ work with them to cover up an ex’s name on your foot. But, if this artist hasn’t done cover ups before, they may not understand how lớn choose an ink composition and color that will effectively hide your old tattoo. You could kết thúc up with a beautiful garden that has a name showing through it!

5 Tips on How to Choose a Cover Up Tattoo 

Now that you know more about the process & factors that go into choosing a cover up tattoo, it’s time for the fun part — coming up with your dream design! Below are recommendations for how lớn choose a cover up tattoo.

1. Keep the thiết kế Close lớn the Old Ink

Cover-up tattoos are the most successful when their thiết kế is similar khổng lồ the old ink. For example, if you have a large Celtic knot on your foot, getting a cover up thiết kế that’s also Celtic would be much easier than attempting to bởi vì a new piece in a realist style. 

2. Consider Building on the Current Design 

You may be able lớn build on to your current kiến thiết with something more your speed. This choice can include adding details, deepening colors, and enlarging the original tattoo. Consider incorporating the kiến thiết into a beautiful peacock cover up piece if you have a single feather tattoo.

3. Be Prepared for a Bigger Size

Your cover up tattoo will need to be, at a minimum, the same form size as the original. It likely will need to be bigger. Size is important to consider when determining your new thiết kế (and when deciding whether a cover up or laze tattoo removal might be suitable for you). 

4. Cover Up Tattoos May Mean More Maintenance

It may take up to lớn three sessions to lớn ensure the ink for your cover up tattoo saturates fully into the original design. Cover up tattoos can also be more prone lớn fading than “originals.” It’s essential to lớn practice proper tattoo care, including moisturizing và sun protection. 

5. Research Experienced Cover Up Tattoo Artists 

It’s vital to work with someone with experience in cover up tattoos, specifically when beginning your cover up journey. These artists know how lớn work with you to lớn ensure you choose a thiết kế that will effectively cover up your old tattoo. They can offer suggestions about style and màu sắc to ensure the old tattoo is fully covered. 

When you’re looking for tattoo artists khổng lồ work with, don’t be afraid khổng lồ ask for cover up examples from their portfolios, so you can see the work they’ve done. Also, think of questions you’ll ask beforehand lớn ensure they’re a good fit.

These questions may include: What’s your philosophy about covering up old tattoos? How many cover ups have you done? What should I keep in mind when I’m healing from a cover up tattoo? Do you have any before & after photos of cover ups you’ve done? 

6. Consider laze Tattoo Removal 

If your tattoo is dark, saturated with color, or new, it will likely be necessary lớn have at least one or two laze tattoo removal sessions lớn get a faded enough surface to lớn apply your new tattoo. Even lighter or older tattoos can often benefit from removal sessions to allow a more faded surface for the cover up. Make sure lớn consider this when deciding on a timeline & budget for your tattoo cover up process. 

7. Be Realistic 

While it’s great khổng lồ have a goal tattoo in mind, make sure you’re being realistic now, so you don’t get disappointed in the future. You won’t be able to lớn cover up an incredibly detailed dark portrait with a cloudless blue sky unless you have many tattoo removal sessions. 

This reality is another reason it’s essential to lớn work with experts early in the process, so you can let them know your desired outcome, and they can tell you the most effective way to get there. 

Jon Mesa Talks Tattoo Cover Ups

See more about tattoo cover ups from tattoo artist, Jon Mesa.

Common Questions about Choosing a Cover Up Tattoo

We hope this guide answered your questions about how lớn choose a cover up tattoo & helped you understand what steps to lớn take next. Below are some other commonly asked questions.

Can You Cover Up a black Tattoo with Color? 

It is difficult khổng lồ cover up a black tattoo with any color other than black. Other dark tones lượt thích navy or brown might work, but lighter colors won’t be effective in covering up an original đen tattoo. If you want khổng lồ get bright new colors in your new tattoo, you may be a good candidate for tia laze tattoo removal khổng lồ fade your original black design. 

How Soon Can a Tattoo be Covered Up? 

If you’ve got a new tattoo that looks nothing lượt thích what you imagined, you may want lớn run immediately lớn the nearest cover up artist. Unfortunately, you’ll need to wait until your tattoo has fully healed before arranging a cover up design. New tattoos are mở cửa wounds, và while the vị trí cao nhất layer of skin will heal in two to three weeks, you may need lớn wait months before your tattoo heals fully at all skin depths. 

To be safe, work with an experienced cover up tattoo artist if you’re thinking of covering up a newer tattoo. They can help ensure you’re healed và ready for your new piece. 

How bởi vì You Care for a Cover Up Tattoo? 

Taking care of your new cover up tattoo is similar khổng lồ taking care of a “fresh” tattoo. 

The most important care elements include: Cover your new tattoo with the bandage for as long as your tattoo artist suggestsClean your new tattoo with clean water and fragrance-free soapApply moisturizer as directed by your tattoo artistBe sure khổng lồ keep your tattoo out of direct sunlightAvoid scratching or picking at your cover up piece

What Colors Can Be Used to Cover Up a Tattoo? 

Artists can use many colors to cover up tattoos. The right colors for you depend on the existing tattoo’s color and the eventual kiến thiết you want to lớn achieve. For example, they can use darker versions of the same màu sắc in a cover up. 

You could cover up a formerly hot pink tattoo with a red one. They also can mix different colored inks with the ink already there khổng lồ create a new color. For example, xanh ink combined with a red tattoo will create purple. 

While artists can use many colors, the ink that will work best for a tattoo cover up is often black. Work with your tattoo artist khổng lồ discuss your color goals and what’s possible given the colors & designs of your original tattoo. 

How Much Does a Cover Up Tattoo Cost? 

A cover up tattoo’s cost varies as much as the cost of “normal” tattoos. Cost depends on various factors, including the desired tattoo kích thước and color, cấp độ of detail, và the artist’s experience level. 

Keep in mind that a cover up tattoo might cost more than the same thiết kế on a fresh patch of skin. This cost is because the artist will need to strategically plan the design and the types of ink they used based on the original tattoo, which will take more labor & more time. 

Book A Cover Up Consultation With The nhatroso.com Team

Have an old tattoo that doesn’t suit you anymore? A cover up might be the perfect opportunity lớn hide your old tattoo và get a new artwork that you love! 

As this guide has shown, the most important thing khổng lồ remember when considering a cover up tattoo is a thorough understanding of your old tattoo và what kind of cover ups may work. But, if your old piece is getting in the way of your dream piece, you have options. Getting tia laze tattoo removal & fading your original tattoo can make it easier khổng lồ get the cover up you’ve been thinking of. 

Experienced cover up experts can work with you to determine exactly the right plan for your needs. Book a cover up consultation with the nhatroso.com team today to learn more about how to lớn begin your cover up journey.