The concept of a tattoo being forever is a flawed one. Tattoos fade, change over time, and the people with them do too. For these reasons, tattoo cover up ideas are constantly requested in tattoo parlors every single day. Artists are tasked with transforming an old design into something completely new. There are a couple of ways to go about your cover up tattoo. You can decide to get a few rounds of laser removal which is expensive and painful but results in better cover ups.
The other direction you can take your tattoo is with a simple blast over, blackout, or bold design that will cover the existing ink. These can be very tricky but with a little ingenuity and imagination, not impossible. We wanted to get a better idea of the best cover up tattoo ideas so we looked to social media to find the latest and greatest examples to share with you. Let’s talk coverage!
Discover the Best Tattoo Cover Up Ideas That Upgrade Old Ink Below.
Black Ink Will Do It
Big, bold, and black is, by far, the most popular and forgiving option when it comes to covering up an old tattoo. As you can see in the above example, you would never know that a tattoo existed there before.
It Really Gets the Job Done
Here’s another example that’s a bit more delicate that shows how black ink can be used to disguise older tattoos. Notice all of the tiny dots used to give this cover up texture. The technique also helps hide old lines.
Vibrant Color Works Too
Black ink is not your only option of course. For your tattoo cover up ideas, feel free to envision bold color. A lot of color offers a lot of coverage. This design is so clever in that it hides the existing turtle in the colors of the turtle’s shell.
Blackout tattoos are a huge trend and you can cover a lot of ground with bold, black ink like this. Imagine also, bands of black which can also be used to cover your tattoos in unique ways as well.
What’s Old Is New
Texture is another form of cover. For this feather, we can see a ton of tiny little lines that provide cover for the existing design. Notice how the shape mimics what was already there but takes it to a more dramatic level.
Big, Bold Florals Are Your Friend
If you take one thing away from this list of tattoo cover up ideas, please let it be big florals. Floral patterns cover old tattoos better than almost any other type of design. Their organic shapes can be altered to provide the best coverage. You will see a good deal of further examples of this on this list. So, if you’re feeling floral, really lean into it.
Really, We Mean It
Here’s another example that finds pink and purple flowers on top of an old phrase tattoo. Botanicals cover more tattoos than you’ll likely ever know.
Go big with your designs. Oversized scenes really mask old tattoos well. The above example is a very intricate one that contains so much visual interest that you can’t place where the old tattoo exists beneath it.
Do It with the Background
If you’ve got an idea of the subject matter you want but the shape might not be just right for ideal coverage, try a background. For your tattoo cover up ideas, think of clouds, a sun, a textured backdrop, or anything else in that category to offer extra coverage.
For smaller and modest-sized tattoos, you can simply pick a shape that will frame it, in this case, a heart, and then black out the inside of the shape you’ve chosen.
Blackout & White Ink
Use your imagination and invent new possibilities for your tattoo cover up ideas. A blackout tattoo with white ink is a perfect way to cover up something old and upgrade it with something cool and fresh.
Consider a Watercolor Look
Tattoos with a watercolor effect are one of the biggest trends today. Hallmarks of this style include ink that looks like wet paint and dots that look like droplets. “Brushstrokes,” “droplets,”
and other organic effects can be used to mask an old tattoo well.
Old Tattoo Becomes a Shading Guide
Your tattoo artist can use an existing design as a shading element if they get the placement of the cover up in the perfect spot. Notice how the purple shades of the flower are informed by the frog underneath? It’s tough to see which is proof that it works well.
Bold, geometric, and abstract designs should inform your tattoo cover up ideas. Mandalas or tribal-inspired designs often contain large, graphic elements that can cover a tattoo really well.
Just because you might need to go with dark ink colors for coverage does not mean that you can’t add plenty of expression in your design. This artist really nailed it.
Play with Shape
If you were brainstorming tattoo cover up ideas for a lengthy-phrase like the one above, you might first consider something long and slender as a cover up. But, we encourage you to expand for better coverage and a tattoo you’ll actually be proud of.
Add Definition with Black and White
As black ink tattoos fade, they often turn a dark grey or bluish-grey color. If you still want that design, your artist can go back in and add black lows and white highs to provide more definition that your old tattoo lacks.
Hallmarks of traditional and neo-traditional tattoos include bold shapes that are basic and unfussy, primary colors that pop, and simple motifs for an understated but strong design. All of those elements make traditional tattoos like the one above good candidates for real coverage.
Traditional Styles Will Do It
Sit with traditional tattooing while coming up with your tattoo cover up ideas. Skulls, snakes, roses, and more can be found on every tattoo artist’s “flash” or portfolio. Lean into those old designs and you will not be disappointed.
Disguise and Enhance Color
If blue ink is already there, consider adding more. It will easily mask the old tattoo and reintroduce the color in a bolder fashion. This person could have gone larger but they found a solution with florals in the same shape that totally work well.
Try an Opposite Color
For your tattoo cover up ideas, you should also consider opposing colors if the tattoo has faded significantly. The red ink above is so bold that it easily counteracts the blue beneath. What a winner!
Remember to Express Yourself
Don’t get too tied to what you think your tattoo cover up ideas should be. Talk to your artist about the design that you want to replace it with and ask them if it’s possible. Think outside of the box and you could walk away with something equally cool.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you like your little heart tattoo but think it could use some sparkle, sparkle you can have. This artist knocked it out of the park with this diamond effect.
It Was Never Really There
Here’s another floral example that completely swallows the hold tattoo whole. By placing the center of the flower over the existing design, the artist has made it look as if that shading was meant to be there.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Blast Over Tattoos That Are Better Than Cover Ups
Here’s an example of a big cover up that totally swallows the old tattoo whole. Textured designs (like the spots of this cat) will allow artists to cover a tattoo well.
Did we get you covered? We hope you found some worthwhile tattoo cover up ideas for your own tattoo. As tattoos age, they can fade and become dull. Further, as we age we might age out of a tattoo that we got at a younger age. With these tattoo cover up ideas, you can come up with your own way to upgrade that ink. Happy tattooing!
- 1 Discover the Best Tattoo Cover Up Ideas That Upgrade Old Ink Below.
- 1.1 Black Ink Will Do It
- 1.2 It Really Gets the Job Done
- 1.3 Vibrant Color Works Too
- 1.4 Complete Blackout
- 1.5 What’s Old Is New
- 1.6 Big, Bold Florals Are Your Friend
- 1.7 Really, We Mean It
- 1.8 Complete Coverage
- 1.9 Do It with the Background
- 1.10 Frame It
- 1.11 Blackout & White Ink
- 1.12 Consider a Watercolor Look
- 1.13 Old Tattoo Becomes a Shading Guide
- 1.14 Abstract Imagery
- 1.15 Be Bold
- 1.16 Play with Shape
- 1.17 Add Definition with Black and White
- 1.18 Go Traditional
- 1.19 Traditional Styles Will Do It
- 1.20 Disguise and Enhance Color
- 1.21 Try an Opposite Color
- 1.22 Remember to Express Yourself
- 1.23 Get Clever
- 1.24 It Was Never Really There
- 1.25 Meow
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