35 Ingenious Tattoo Coverup Ideas

Tattoos are mostly permanent; that’s why it’s smart to think long and hard before getting one. Have you heard the story about Ariana Grande’s Japanese BBQ tattoo? The pop star decided to start 2019 off with a bang last year by getting a tattoo on her hand that she thought meant “7 Rings” in Japanese. Instead, the singer ended up with a tattoo that said “shichirin,” which is a Japanese BBQ grill. Soon after Ariana discovered the mistake, she tried to have the tattoo fixed. Now, it says, “Japenese BBQ finger.” We wouldn’t necessarily call that fixed, but it could be much, much worse. Don’t be like Ariana folks!

Some tattoo artists specialize specifically in tattoo coverups and transformations. These skilled artists can fix a tattoo and in most cases, make it infinitely better. Most people usually want to get a name or poorly executed tattoo covered. Let’s take a look at some before and after photos of ingenious tattoo coverups.

Butterfly Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@ada.tattoos (Source)

This person had a poorly done treble clef tattooed on her shoulder. The tattoo artist employed vibrant colors on the wings of this butterfly to masterfully cover up this old, faded tatt.

 

Kitty Cat Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@tattoocoringa (Source)

As you can see, this person had a less-than-sharp symbol tattooed on the back of their neck. A simple, yet elegant, black cat and roses design fits perfectly over the old tattoo and you’d never know it was ever there.

 

Monstrous Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@tony_bill13 (Source)

We don’t know what type of person gets an energy drink logo tattooed on them. One woman is even convinced it’s a sign of the devil. Alas, they’ve remedied the situation with something equally as monstrous, a wolf.

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Dreamy Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@sara_ringo (Source)

You’ll start to notice some common themes as you look at tattoo coverups. Common designs that work well are feathers, butterflies, and flowers. This beautiful dreamcatcher and its feathers beautifully cover up a boring design.

 

Purrrfect Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@nevermoretattoo (Source)

This person had a very flat and uninspired, 2-d drawing of a cloud behind their ear. It’s been beautifully covered up by an image of a tiger that’s got dramatic shading. We think this is a huge improvement.

 

Floral Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@binan2011 (Source)

We caught this tattoo coverup as it was still in process. As you can see, this person had a star-with-wings design and the words “dreams come true” tattooed below her neck. The artist uses a busy and colorful design to mask the old tattoo with something that’s totally inspired.

 

Buzzworthy Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@artangell (Source)

The original tattoo was so bad you could barely make out what it was supposed to be. Now, small flowers and a pretty bee sit on top of the old tatt. This was a simple fix but looks a million times better.

 

Rosey Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

The original tattoo looks like it could use some TLC. It’s been covered in an incredible grey rose and paintstroke design that’s way more fun and creative than what was there before.

 

Spider on a Spider Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@evolution_tattoo12 (Source)

This person said, “cover my creepy spider tattoo with a creepier spider.” This black widow tattoo might give you chills, but it looks better than the original that looked more like a tick than anything else.

 

Light as a Feather Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

The original tattoo wasn’t much to look at and it was faded and dull. The improved design finds a feather masking what was not much to look at before.

 

Bigger Bouquet Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

Sometimes you just want more flowers! The first tattoo looked a bit sad, but the tattoo artist really fleshed out (sorry) the design and made it much more visually appealing.

 

Hidden by Petals Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@wottos_ink_tattoo_studio (Source)

As you can see this was a big job. We think the old tattoo was a grim reaper or maybe it was just a blob, who knows? What’s certainly true is this gorgeous flower that now sits in its place is a vast improvement.

 

A Black and Grey Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@tattoo_inferno_ruma (Source)

Okay! Now we’re talking! This person decided to switch lanes completely. Their first tattoo was a small, cartoonish elephant that needed some TLC. They replaced it with a stunning black and grey tattoo that’s pretty photorealistic. A night-and-day change with this tatt coverup.

 

A Colorful Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@barbernorthstar (Source)

The original tattoo was… unfortunate, but the fix is stunning. Neon colors and beautiful shading really make this design pop. As you can see, the artist has left the original rose and incorporated it into the design.

 

Feathery Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@pac_is_art (Source)

This tattoo artist decided to take a walk on the dark side with this tattoo coverup. There was a poorly done angel that we assume was supposed to be the archangel, Michael. Now, a dramatic bird has taken its place and it looks so much better.

 

Majestic Floral Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@studiocitytattoo (Source)

Again, someone wasn’t happy with their little elephant tattoo! Elephants are great, but these blooming flowers are remarkable. The artist has even matched some of the ink on the original tattoo and used it to shade the flowers.

 

Spooky Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@creation_of_art_tattoo (Source)

Those “tribal” tattoo designs were all the rage a while back. It looks like this person wanted something that would make more of an impression. And yes, a giant skull will do that.

 

Fishy Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@eddiekes (Source)

Another person wasn’t too thrilled with how their design was aging, so they’ve gone with a shark as a coverup design. As you can see, the artist has designed the contours of the shark’s body to mimic the shape of the tribal design to cover it perfectly. It also gives the new design a lot of visual movement and interest.

 

A Winged Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@marloon_rafael (Source)

We’re not sure if the original tattoo is supposed to say “Mothers” or “Mathers.” Either way, it’s indefensible. The tattoo has been beautifully covered with a butterfly-flower hybrid that looks much better.

 

Mayan Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@the_attic_prescott (Source)

This person vastly improved the skin on their arm. They’ve had a horrible Harley-Davidson tattoo covered up by a regal and beautifully tattooed Mayan artwork. The artist employs shadow here to cover up the darkest aspects of the original design.

 

Geometric Floral Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@jaydanfung_tattoo (Source)

This person had some letters and numbers covered by a thrilling geometric and floral design. The shading on the leaves beneath the flower buds does most of the covering and overall this design is a success.

 

A Blooming Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@osaltattoo (Source)

Some uninspired dolphins were eradicated in the process here, but again, flowers are a great way to cover an unwanted tattoo. The dramatic black and grey design makes the most of its real estate.

 

A New Chapter Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@zoevondarksidetattoo (Source)

Someone was not making plans for Nigel. No, Nigel needed to be covered up for one reason or another. This amazing flower and butterfly design does a great job of removing the name.

 

Midnight Blue Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@gradeatattoos (Source)

Wow! This rose tattoo is dark and almost appears to shine like metal because of the shading. This cool design expertly covers up the original tattoo and looks fantastic.

Big Bear

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

We find a very sad-looking tattoo improved with something totally fierce. A mighty bear makes a huge statement where it once used to be.

A Better Choco

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

Choco the dog looks one million times better in this tattoo coverup. Look at how delicately those little curls have been applied. What a dream!

Big Bird

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

A giant peacock tattoo now stands where some faded text used to be. We’d say this is a vast improvement. Let nature be your inspiration and you won’t regret it.

A Pineapple Will Do It

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

A faded 1995 tattoo had seen better days. Now, there’s a vibrant pineapple where the year once was tattooed. There’s so much more life in this design.

Mandala Delight

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

A very washed-out leaf tattoo has been transformed into a beautiful and meditative mandala here. The texture of the final design really helps disguise what’s underneath while also looking fantastic.

An Assist from an Owl

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

Here’s another one of the animal coverup tattoos that really worked out well. The darkness and moodiness of the owl really help to mask the old dragon design below.

Night and Day

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

As you’ve seen multiple times among these coverup tattoos, botanical designs are real winners. This old foot tattoo looks a million times better with those gorgeous blooms and sweet berries.

Black Moon

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

A simple shape that’s filled with black ink will get the job done, especially for smaller coverup jobs. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to walk away with a bettered design.

A Huge Change

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

Wow! You’d never know that the unfortunate tattoo on the left was beneath the masterpiece on the right. It’s such a beautiful portrait with a very cool red-shading effect. Bravo!

At Peace

tattoo coverup ideas
Instagram

An old rose design has disappeared beneath this refreshing scene of a fish and a lotus flower. The shape perfectly covers the bad design below.

 

A Dead Head Coverup

tattoo coverup ideas
@secret_addiction_tattoos (Source)

In this tattoo cover up a sad, smirking Tinker Bell has been replaced by a skeletal hand holding a rose. It’s an odd design, but it still looks so much better than what was there before it. The coloring of the night sky with stars is a nice touch.

 

Life comes at you fast sometimes and certain things you thought were a good idea at the time turn out to not be so wise. Luckily, there are very talented tattoo artists who are experts at covering up old, unwanted tattoos. If you’ve got a tattoo you’re no longer happy with you can always go with laser tattoo removal. But, it’ll be cheaper and probably less painful to just have it spruced up or covered.

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