125 Most Strategic Tattoo Cover Up Designs This Year

Cover Up Tattoo History

Having to use tattoos to associate one’s self with a particular religious sect has been used for so many times now. However, plenty of misconceptions and legends have persisted in regards to religious-themed tattoos.

In Latin, the word for ‘tattoo’ is ‘stigma’, or simply translated, ‘a mark’. It would later on turn into a byword for a brand bestowed upon a person, or a tattoo itself. Marks and scars both built a type of identity inside a world without any other way to identify one’s self, like a social security number. Sometimes you can tell a person was a baker if they have scars on their forearms, and scars was a distinctive factor of former slaves who worked in the baths, from those who had nasty whip marks on their backs. You can also identify soldiers thanks to the ink on their bodies. There’s actually a theory which explains why most members of the Japanese mafia get full-body tattoos, or cover a good percentage of their bodies with tattoos. The tattoos of their bodies will incorporate designs such as the elements, the four seasons, and mythical creatures like dragons – That’s because these were created to mask or cover up the tattoos that they may have gotten from the past.

A tattoo’s color and shading is also important. The first recorded tattoos in history had a darker shade to them, utilizing various shades of gray and black. However, during the early 18th century, the palette of colors grew to include shades like red. A darker red hue for tattoos was created using green vitriol, a mineral that could cause itchiness and fever. So this means that the more red you use for your tattoo, the tougher and stronger you were.

In sailor culture, which started from the early 20th century, a lot of young men started getting tattoos of their loved ones on their biceps. However, when they were unfortunate enough to receive a breakup letter from said girlfriend or wife (also known as a ‘Dear John’ letter) plenty of them returned to their tattoo shop after their voyage to cover the name up.

To hide away these tattoos during formal events, Victorian women often wore protective jewelry or clothes, placed on strategic areas. They often showed off these tattoos during social gatherings or a fancy evening party. A good example of this was Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Churchill. She would wear bracelets on her mid-forearm to conceal a small serpent tattoo on her wrist.

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Tattoo Cover Up Designs And Ideas

Tattoo artists will only be able to hide away an old tattoo using a darker shade of the same ink, or the same shade of ink. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why they could use white ink to lighten up the first tattoo before proceeding with the cover up. Makeup or long-sleeved clothes can also be used to cover the tattoo temporarily.

You may also have to think about the size of your cover up tattoo before booking an appointment. To completely mask the original tattoo, the size of the brand new tattoo has to not only overlap the entire thing, but cover up the entire design. This usually happens when an artist decides to blend elements of the previous tattoo with the new one – The size of the completed look will expand.

Oftentimes these artists will simply overlap the quotes and letters on the wearer’s body by drawing feathers, birds, and flowers, or create old-school designs. Animals and insects like butterflies will do the trick. You can mask using Polynesian tribal pattern tattoos. The same goes for black work tattoos, tattoos in biomechanics, Japanese-style tattoos, and ethnic tattoos. These tattoo design options are popular on men. Oftentimes, they look amazing, especially when done by a professional. And what’s more, you won’t be able to see even just a small trace of the old tattoo through the new look.

If you have plans to mask away a black ink tattoo with yet another black ink design, the color obviously isn’t going to change, but the design will. However, the new design of your choice has to be big and dark especially in the spot where the old tattoo will be covered up.

  • Dragonfly cover up tattoo – The previous tattoo in this design is a tiny one, so it’s much easier to hide away. But the main challenge here is to mask it with something that looks so much better than the previous design. In this case, we have a colorful and stunning dragonfly tattoo. The tattoo from the previous design is successfully covered up using a whole host of colors and shapes.
  • Flora and fauna cover up tattoo – Flowers and plants are perhaps one of the most ideal ways to mask an old, faded or unwanted tattoo design. This involves the leaves and petals belonging to plants, animal fur and even fish scales. The colors tattoo artists utilize for these ‘cover up tattoos’ can be creatively incorporated right into a previous image, or drawn on top of the old tattoo using a darker shade.
  • 3D skull with watch cover up tattoo – Back in the day, this tattoo design involved a scorpion-like creature. But now, loads of people cover it with a three-dimensional skull and clock design which conceals the tattoo below it. And even if you take a very close look at the current tattoo, you won’t be able to find even just a small hint of the previous tattoo, which is actually a good thing since this tattoo looks so much cooler than the older one.

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Tattoo Cover Up Meaning

A tattoo has to be permanent. However, there may be times in which a person steps out of their selected tattoo shop and not feeling too happy about the end result of their design. There are only two methods for you to cover up an unwanted tattoo: Removal, or covering it up.

Covering a tattoo is perhaps one of the cheapest ways to get rid of a tattoo, as well as a good option in case you want to hide away some unsightly old or faded tattoos, masking them with a better and brighter design. An artist can also show off their creativity and incorporate an element or two of the previous tattoo into the new design. Faded or light-colored tattoos are the easiest to cover up.

Tattoo artists can only hide away the old ink using the same shade of ink, or a darker shade if possible. This is one of the reasons why they could use things like white ink to lighten up the first tattoo, before covering it up with the new one. Your artist can also utilize a sleeve tattoo concept, or simply cover it up with makeup to temporarily hide away the tattoo.

For plenty of tattoo artists out there, masking a poor quality tattoo or an old, out of color tattoo is actually real and happens more often than what you may think. A lot of tattoo fans like to take their time in learning that an unsound, small design acquired on impulse may seem like an awesome idea at first, but it can bring plenty of regret later on.

It’s just unfortunate that plenty of tattoo designers don’t necessarily have a strong grasp on creating the perfect cover up design for their client’s tattoos, and they can even create a bigger mistake as a result. An inexperienced tattoo artist can make a darker, uglier, and bigger tattoo that is very difficult to cover up as a result. A tattoo cover up isn’t just a brand new design painting placed on top of the previous tattoo. The artist has to carefully position it in such a way that the old tattoo won’t compromise the look of the new tattoo. This means that the new tattoo has to look amazing when it’s still fresh and trying to recover. But if your tattoo artist doesn’t do it the proper way, there’s a possibility that the old or faded tattoo can still show itself over the new one, damaging the final look while it heals.

For maximum effect, the new tattoo has to look larger than the first one, even though there are a few exceptions in regards to smaller or lighter tattoo coverage. The space surrounding your new tattoo has to be at least twenty percent more compared to the ones from the previous tattoo.

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Placement For Tattoo Cover Up

The positioning of your cover up tattoo does matter in regards to this context. A tattoo can imprint itself on certain areas of the body, including the bicep, the inner thighs, and in between your fingers, since tattoos in these areas are prone to fading away quickly. It’s also entirely possible for these things to happen, since they can rub against other parts of the body too. It’s advisable to not get tattoos in between your toes and fingers, or in the crook of your elbows, beneath the armpits, at the back of your knees, and in between the legs. No matter how old you may be, tattoos in these areas are hard to maintain and keep pristine. A lot of men do tend to gain a lot of weight on their arms and stomachs, while the ladies will initially put on some weight on their butt, breasts, legs, thighs, and lower abdomen. A spot that both women and men must avoid when getting a tattoo is beneath the arms. Apart from the obvious fact that this is a painful spot to get a tattoo on, the flesh beneath your arms tends to accumulate flab and will sag with age.

If you place your tattoo on the shoulders, meanwhile, it’s possible that the design itself will lighten up over time thanks to the fabric of your clothes rubbing over it. The continuous friction of the ink with the fabric will cause the tattoo to gradually fade away over time, and this can get noticeable if you aren’t careful.

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Tattoo Cover Up Preparation Tips

Readying yourself for your very first tattoo can be downright intimidating. And even if this isn’t your first time doing so, you still have to prepare yourself for so many things, and remember a lot of tips to ensure that the entire experience will go as smoothly as you may have hoped.

Do not get any sunburn before your appointment. Stepping inside your chosen tattoo shop and asking your artist to place a tattoo on top of your sunburnt skin isn’t something that I advocate for. First off, sunburnt skin is already worn out. And what’s more, inflicting twice the amount of damage on it not only will cause the entire process to feel more painful, but all of that additional blood that has been sitting on top of the tattooed area attempting to fix all of that burnt skin can create loads of issues regarding visibility problems and ink dilution for the artist. That’s because loads of blood will start to pool on top of the areas where the artist is attempting to draw that tattoo. Make sure that your skin doesn’t have any deep cuts or markings on it as well.

Are Tattoo Cover Up Painful?

Just about any part of the body which contains a bit more flesh, fat, or muscle in it will make the pain of getting a tattoo even just a bit tolerable. This includes places like the upper arms, the forearms, the thighs, or the shoulders. Meanwhile, areas of the body in which the skin is slightly more taut – Like the top of the leg or the outside of the leg – Also results in a more pleasant tattoo experience. So if you’re about to get a tattoo for the first time and you’re still unsure whether you’ll be able to stand the pain or not, then just stick to one of the aforementioned spots.

Which areas of the body will hurt the most when getting a tattoo? Basically any part of the body that doesn’t have too much fat, or has bones right below the skin. This includes areas like the armpits, the elbows, the feet, the ribs, and the fingers or ankles. Ribs, in particular are difficult for both the clients and the artists. That’s because this is a naturally sensitive spot, and is continuously moving because we have to breathe. This means you need to sync your breathing and movements when you choose to get a tattoo there. But if you really, really want a rib tattoo, then by all means just go for it – Just be ready to face some grueling pain when you finally sit down on that tattoo chair with your artist.

Another thing to remember here is that the areas of the body in which the skin is practically on top of the  bones will experience a different kind of painful sensation apart from the discomfort of acquiring a new tattoo – This comes in a ‘tapping on the bone’ type of sensation, which certain people might not enjoy too much.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cover Up Tattoos

  • Where can I find a picture of a tattoo for inspiration?
  • If you do have plans to get a tattoo, especially as a way to show off an aspect of your life or personality, then why should you get a design that everybody else wears? Instead, you can choose to look at other photos of the design that you want and bring it to your artist so they can create a custom design for you. For instance, in case you want to get a penguin tattoo, go look for pictures of penguins on Google. If you want a tattoo of a pink rose wrapped around a cross, then do the same thing. But if the tattoo design of your dreams isn’t showing up, then just bring the image of your choice to your artist so they can use it as an inspiration for a custom tattoo.
  • Is it okay to get a tan when you have a tattoo?
  • Even though it might seem tempting to catch some rays and get a nice tan during the summer season either through a tanning salon or on the beach, it’s not really advisable to do so because of the damage it can sustain on your skin.
  • Can I shave my leg if I got a new tattoo there?
  • It’s actually going to take a while for your skin to fully heal if you shave your legs repeatedly. Everything varies from one person to another.
  • A friend of mine just purchased an instant tattoo kit and wants to practice it on me. Should I let them?
  • Absolutely not. This can place both you and your friend’s life in danger by attempting to create a tattoo without any prior experience. If they keep insisting, tell them that they still need to get a proper apprenticeship at a licensed tattoo shop, and they can start using that tattoo kit to practice on you whenever they’re all set.

Also Read: 225 Coolest Arm Tattoos For Men And Women This Year

Standard Cost Of Getting A Tattoo Cover Up

In case you end up getting a horrible tattoo, and don’t want to sit through the pain of removing it using the laser method, perhaps the only other option you have is to cover it  up with a larger and darker tattoo. This will, unfortunately, be just as expensive as a laser removal, or even be twice as pricey than your first tattoo, because it’s going to be hard for the artist to come up with the perfect design. A cover up tattoo can cost over $300.

The price of your cover up tattoo will depend on the quality, similar to a regular tattoo. But while your tattoo artist will be working with a blank canvas on your body by coming up with an original tattoo, they’re going to have to work around a faded or old piece of body art when creating a cover up tattoo design. Perhaps the main difference here between a perfect cover up tattoo idea and a horrible one is the canvas.

Plenty of factors will often determine the final pricing given by your chosen tattoo artist: The artistic ability, the skills, their reputation as an artist, the placement on your body, the amount of details involved, and how big or small the tattoo really is.

A top-notch tattoo that is a created in a licensed and professional tattoo shop would naturally be twice as expensive in comparison to having your friend  do it in their garage or backyard. Considering you could possibly bring home a disease with you, along with a horrid and ugly permanent piece of body art, having to pay more cash than usual will surely be with the cost, if you think about it carefully.

Tattoo Cover Up Maintenance Tips

After you have acquired a brand new tattoo, wait for at least up to six hours then take off the bandage slowly and gently by soaking it in lukewarm water. Once you remove the bandage, gently pat your new ink dry using a soft and dry piece of paper towel. Rub in a water-based unscented and mild ointment on top of your new ink, for at least up to five days until it starts to scab and peel off. Once this step arrives, wash your tattoo gently using a mild, unscented liquid antibacterial soap for up to two times a day. Apply moisturizer to it until the scabs have all naturally peeled off.

For at least a week after you get your new tattoo, be sure to only use old or dirty bedsheets in case some extra ink starts oozing out. In case your tattoo requires some touch-ups, you can always return back to the salon and have your tattoo artist redo it. Be sure all of the towels and clothes that you use or wear are clean, since, like your bedsheets, excess ink can leave a stain on them and it could be difficult to get them out.

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