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 Japenese 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.
25. Butterfly Coverup
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.
24. Kitty Cat Coverup
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.
23. Monstrous Coverup
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.
22. Dreamy Coverup
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.
21. Purrrfect Coverup
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.
20. Floral Coverup
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.
19. Buzzworthy Coverup
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.
18. Rosey Coverup
The original tattoo looks like a bad emo tattoo. It’s been covered in an incredible purple rose and jewel design that’s way more fun and creative than what was there before.
17. Spider on a Spider Coverup
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.
16. Light as a Feather Coverup
The original tattoo wasn’t much to look at and the colors were faded and dull. The improved design incorporates the colors of the original, but they’re so vivid.
15. Bigger Bouquet Coverup
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.
14. Hidden by Petals Coverup
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.
13. A Black and Grey Coverup
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.
12. A Colorful Coverup
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.
11. Feathery Coverup
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.
10. Majestic Floral Coverup
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.
9. Spooky Coverup
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.
8. Fishy Coverup
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.
7. A Winged Coverup
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.
6. Mayan Coverup
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.
5. Geometric Floral Coverup
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.
4. A Blooming Coverup
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.
3. A New Chapter Coverup
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.
2. Midnight Blue Coverup
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.
1. A Dead Head Coverup
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.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 25. Butterfly Coverup
- 2 24. Kitty Cat Coverup
- 3 23. Monstrous Coverup
- 4 22. Dreamy Coverup
- 5 21. Purrrfect Coverup
- 6 20. Floral Coverup
- 7 19. Buzzworthy Coverup
- 8 18. Rosey Coverup
- 9 17. Spider on a Spider Coverup
- 10 16. Light as a Feather Coverup
- 11 15. Bigger Bouquet Coverup
- 12 14. Hidden by Petals Coverup
- 13 13. A Black and Grey Coverup
- 14 12. A Colorful Coverup
- 15 11. Feathery Coverup
- 16 10. Majestic Floral Coverup
- 17 9. Spooky Coverup
- 18 8. Fishy Coverup
- 19 7. A Winged Coverup
- 20 6. Mayan Coverup
- 21 5. Geometric Floral Coverup
- 22 4. A Blooming Coverup
- 23 3. A New Chapter Coverup
- 24 2. Midnight Blue Coverup
- 25 1. A Dead Head Coverup
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