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How To Maintain Cover-Up Tattoo: Tips and Procedure

Cover up tattoo

How To Maintain Cover-Up Tattoo: Tips and Procedure

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The biggest disappointment comes when your tattoo doesn’t come as you expected, along with the wastage of time, money, and effort. More often than not, people don’t understand how to get rid of their unappealing tattoos. It’s not easy to accept some unappealing tattoos on your body. Of course, you would never want to flaunt it to the people.

Well, here is a good news for you! Do you know now you can beautify your ugly-looking tattoo?? Yeah, you read it right, you can beautify your ugly-looking tattoo. Do you wanna know how……???
Yes, you can get rid of a regrettable tattoo design simply by cover-up tattoos. To know more about cover-up tattoos read this post till the end!!

What is a Cover-up Tattoo?

What is a cover up tattoo

Cover-up tattoos, as the name says, are the tattoos which are used to cover your ugly-looking tattoo or unwanted tattoo. One can opt for a cover up tattoo if he/she is not happy with the existing one or if your existing tattoo is fading. In this procedure, your previous and unwanted tattoo is replaced with a new one.

All you need to do is get an idea about the design which you can extend to cover your existing tattoo and schedule an appointment with your tattoo artist. The tattooist will further guide you exactly how to go ahead.

Also, make sure you finalize a nice design this time, because the choice of a design to cover your old tattoo will make a remarkable difference. So be wise, while you choose your design!

How does Cover-up Work?

How does Cover-up Work

When we get tattoos the ink gets deposited at least one millimeter beneath our skin i.e., into the dermis – a layer just below the epidermis (the skin). While you get a cover up tattoo ink again gets deposited in the same dermis where the ink from the previous tattoo is already present.

Related: Importance of Tattoo Touch-Ups

So, the pigment of the new ink doesn’t settle on top of the pigment of the old tattoo, in fact, the two colors (color from old tattoo and the new tattoo) get mixed and form a new color. More often the dark color dominates the mix. For instance, if blue and red are combined the mix will turn into purple. And that’s the reason black ink is considered as the most effective color to cover up old tattoos.

Colors Used in Cover-up Tattoo

Colors Used in Cover-up Tattoos

We understand that getting a cover-up tattoo is not an easy task. But the ones struggling to hide their unappealing tattoo designs have this brilliant opportunity to make-over their tattoo one more time and get a chance to flaunt it. Here are the colors used in cover-up tattoos:

  • Black is a standard color, which is used mostly to cover-up tattoos.
  • Besides, green, magenta, oranges, blue, and brown are the colors used to conceal the old tattoos.
  • Well, darker shades are easier to use to cover-up the old tattoos.
  • Also, know that whenever a new ink will be applied to the old tattoo ink, the new color will be formed. Neither the old one will stay not the new will have its existence.
  • However, many tattooists are experimenting with the colors by using light shades to cover the old tattoos.

Colors Used in Cover-up Tattoos_

It may be difficult to choose the right color palette for your cover-up tattoo design. But, your tattooist can always help you to choose the best color for your existing tattoo. Also, it is essential to know that the colors which will be used for cover-up tattoos will not stay the same. For instance; red will turn to brown, yellow to green, Pink goes well with magenta, and blue mixes with purple, etc.

So, it is important that you choose your colors wisely and thoughtfully. Make sure you discuss the same with your tattoo artist.

Also See: How to fix up Bad Tattoos?

What is the procedure of a cover-up tattoos?

Quality of your Cover-up Tattoo Ink

The procedure of a cover-up design involves the following:

More or less the same steps are followed in cover-up tattoo as in the first tattoo. Tattooist will simply start the procedure with placing a tracing paper over the previous design and outline the main features of your old tattoo. Basically, this is done to find out which all parts of the previous tattoos should get maximum coverage.

Then the outline will be kept under the light and the tattooist will place another thin piece of tracing paper on its top. The cover-up tattoo process will start with the faint outline of your old tattoo in order to conceal that area.

It is crucial that your tattooist has a great sense of cover-up and is a certified cover-up tattoo artist, who knows how to incorporate the old design into the new one. Also, it is important to know in advance that your old design will be at least 30% larger.

Cover-up tattoos need real creativity, real art of crafting a unique piece out of the old one. In cover-ups, an artist needs to draw plenty of interesting patterns around the unattractive areas of your old tattoo. So that the new tattoo can come perfect. Also, lighter shades are used to neutralize the skin that showcases only cover-up tattoos imprinted on the skin.

  • Tricks Use in Cover-up Tattoo
  • Some of the common tricks which are used in a cover-up tattoo are:
  • The design of the cover-up will always be kept as close as the old one
  • Weak lines are basically strengthened or we can say features are incorporated in the cover-up.
  • Certain illusions are used in order to improve the overall look of the tattoo

Related: How To Get Rid Of Tattoo Scarring & Blowouts

Other Aspects of Cover-up Tattoos

Other Aspects of Cover-up Tattoos


Tattoo Colors: The color palette which is used to cover old tattoo designs ranges from blues to browns to blacks. If your previous tattoo is dark then concealing dark tattoo with lighter shades like reds, oranges, and yellow will not provide the right amount of coverage. Hence, bright colors are used to fix designs drawn with bright colors. And it is recommended to opt for bold and dark color options to conceal the previous tattoo.

Often Darker Shade Tattoos are See-Through: Darker old tattoos can only be covered with excess dark ink. Because cover-up ink in lighter shade might see-through it. For instance, blue or black inks will appear on the cover-up tattoo compared to the shades of white or yellow.

Size of Cover-up Tattoo: Remember, your cover up tattoo will always be bigger in size. Most probably you won’t even get the desired size. But yes, your old unattractive design will artistically be concealed. For instance, with big tribal design you can easily hide an unattractive design completely. The best part of cover-up tattoo design is – with bigger designs one can easily hide the unattractive part of your tattoo.

The Age of your Old Tattoo: The age of your old tattoo does matter. Of course, over a period of time tattoos start to fade. And this could be because of the ink of your tattoo, which is likely to break down with time. For instance, tattoos in red and yellow colors are prone to quick fading, whereas shades like black and dark blue stay for relatively longer period. Also, it is easier to conceal an old tattoo than the one which is done recently. To cover-up the recent tattoo will be more time consuming. Plus, chances of old design showing up from cover up are minimum.

Design of your Tattoo: It is crucial that you consider your present design while choosing for a cover-up, because the design of your tattoo matters a lot. Remember that not every design can be camouflaged. For instance, tribal designs or mandala, they are intricate patterns, which are difficult to erase, whereas a small-sized tattoo having only a symbol is quick to conceal. So, just for precaution, choose a moderate tattoo design while going for your first tattoo.

Cover-up is just a replacement of your old tattoo design into new: Do not confuse cover-up with a new tattoo. Cover-up is not a New Tattoo. Also, cover-up is done based on how much you want to cover. Calling it a new tattoo will be sort of incorrect as it will have your old design with some additional elements and the size of the tattoo will also change.

An Expert Tattoo Artist: It is crucial to go to some experienced tattoo artist for your cover-up tattoo. However, you can go to your previous tattoo artist as well, but opting an experienced tattoo artist is always a good deal. But you will at least be able to get rid of your unappealing tattoo design easily with the help of experienced tattoo artist. However, the process is time-taking and it does require effort, but believe you me, you won’t be disappointed with the end result. So, it is recommended to do a thorough research before you go for your cover-up tattoo.

Also Read: How to Remove Temporary Tattoo?

Does Cover-Up Tattoo Fade?

Believe it or not, but your cover-up tattoos also get fade. Yes, they do. But don’t be disheartened. Here are some factors contributing to the fading of your cover-up tattoos:

1. Quality of your Cover-up Tattoo Ink

What is the procedure of a cover-up tattoos

We all know that the longevity of our tattoo depends very much on the quality of your ink. If the tattoo ink is of low-quality or contains low-quality components, then definitely your tattoo will fade away or will not stay fresh and striking for an extended time period. Also, excessive diluting of the ink also leads to fading of tattoos.

Also Check: 6 Best Tattoo Ink Brands

Moreover, lighter ink fades faster. That’s why it is recommended to opt for a cover-up design that contains lots of dark colors, textures, and details and avoid hues of pinks and yellow to make the most of your cover-up tattoo. Make sure you ask about the quality of the ink your tattooist would use to get the long-lasting cover-up tattoo.

2. Placement of your Cover-up Tattoo

Placement of your Cover-up Tattoo

The placement of your cover-up tattoo also matters. Tattoos etched on your bicep, in-between fingers, or on your inner thigh, are likely to fade faster. This is because of the possibility that these areas rub against other parts of your body. For instance, if a tattoo is placed on a shoulder, the design will lighten over time due to constant contact of the clothing. This consistent rubbing of your tattoo with your clothes causes your cover-up tattoo to fade gradually and after some time it becomes apparent.

3. Healing of your Cover-up Tattoo

Healing of your Cover-up Tattoo

Know that the fading of your cover-up tattoo is also related to the safety precautions or precautionary measures you take during and after getting your cover-up tattoo. If you do not take preventative measures, your tattoo will lighten in comparatively faster. Hence, it is essential to take all the preventive measures, especially in the first few weeks, to protect your cover-up tattoo. Make sure you allow the tattoo ink to settle properly into the place and avoid any kind of damage to your cover-up tattoo.

Also Read: Laser Tattoo Removal: Aftercare Instructions

How to Maintain your Cover-up Tattoo

Whether you are concealing your tattoo for you find it an unattractive piece or because your tattoo is fading… Whatever the reason is, the bottom line is you need to take very good care of your cover-up tattoo. It is important that you go to an experienced tattoo artists in order to have a great artwork etched on your body. Besides, it is necessary to take extra care of your cover-up to boost the healing process. Here are some tips to be followed:

1. Do As your Tattoo Artist Say

Use only Antibacterial Soap While Bathing

It is crucial that you follow the advice and instructions given by your tattoo artist. If you really want to have a cover-up tattoo for a longer period and want it to look good, then do as your tattoo artist says. Follow each and every instruction given by him. It will not only help to heal the tattoo faster, but also avoid bacterial infection.

2. Do Not Wipe your Tattoo

Do Not Wipe your Tattoo

Even after bath don’t wipe your tattoo with your towel. Also, itching is common to tattoos, especially when you bathe you will feel itching but you cannot wipe or scratch your tattoo. Do not wipe your cover-up tattoo. If you wipe your newly concealed tattoo with a towel it will tear the treated skin. So, better to use a tissue, or soft cloth to pat your tattoo or let it air dry.

3. Use only Antibacterial Soap While Bathing

Use only Antibacterial Soap While Bathing

You have to take care of your cover-up tattoo the same way you did for your old tattoo. Be it a cover-up tattoo or a new tattoo, make sure you use only antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soaps help prevent bacteria from entering the wound. A regular soap will not be able to stop bacterial infection that can lead to a serious skin related issues.

4. Keep it Clean

Keep it Clean

It is essential that you keep your cover-up tattoo clean. So, after removing bandage it becomes crucial to rinse your tattoo that too with lukewarm water or with prescribed products, thereby avoiding any adverse effects.

5. Keep it Moisturized

Keep it Moisturized

It is crucial that you keep your tattoo moisturized, even your tattoo artist will force this point. But, make sure you do not over moisturize your cover-up tattoo in the process. Believe it or not, but your tattoo also needs to breath, I mean skin in that area needs to breathe to heal properly.

6. Avoid Exposure to Excess Water

You might be a good swimmer or you may be tempted to go for a sauna bath, but while you get a cover-up tattoo it is crucial that you stay away from all this for a while, until your cover-up tattoo gets healed. Exposure to excess water may cause infection on the treated skin. Take only warm showers as it speeds up the healing procedure but make sure you do not spend too much time in the shower. Ideally 15 minutes is enough.

7. Avoid Exposure to the Sunlight

Avoid Exposure to the Sunlight

I am sure you know that sunlight can cause incurable damage to your cover-up tattoo. So, do not expose your cover-up tattoo to the sun. Of course, we understand staying indoors all the time is not possible, always cover your tattoo while going out. Better would be to stay indoors. The harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays actually hinders the process of tattoo healing.

8. Go for Touch-ups

Contact your tattoo artist immediately in case your tattoo loses ink after a day or two. Touch-up is necessary in such a case in order to retain the freshness of your tattoo. Mostly touch-ups are free. Otherwise, in normal conditions visit your tattoo artist in a months or so to enhance the colors and design.

9. Avoid Scab Formation

Avoid Scab Formation

Do not pat dry your cover-up tattoo completely, keep it moist. Drying your tattoo completely can develop scabs that hinder the healing process.

10. Do not Scratch Your Cover-up Tattoo

Do not Scratch Your Cover-up Tattoo

Itching is common to tattoo and we all know that… Right?? So, it is crucial that you do not scratch your tattoo even if it is itching badly. You need to have a great control over your emotions in this situation. Especially after a day or two a thin layer is formed on your tattoo that causes itchiness, same ways when we get some wound. Scratching your tattoo is strictly prohibited. You can apply some baby oil or milk cream to keep the itching under control and keep your tattoo moist.

11. Be Patient

Last but not least, be patient!! You have to understand that the healing process takes time and it cannot happen overnight. You need to give time sometime. Also, the healing will depend on the size and design of your tattoo. Simple tattoo designs usually takes a week to heal, complex design with plenty of details may take longer time to heal, may be a few months. So, all you can do is be patient and follow all the instructions religiously to get the best results!

Wrapping up……

I hope you are now clear with cover-up tattoos and if you also have some unappealing tattoos and want to get rid of that then cover-up tattoo design is for you!

If you have gotten a cover-up tattoo already, make sure you take good care of your tattoo and giving it a nice healing time. Because, if you don’t then your tattoo may fade. Just like other tattoos cover up tattoos also loses the shine and color as well. They also fade!!

So, get rid of your regrettable tattoo design and conceal it with a cover-up and make a difference!!

Happy Tattooing….. Happy Covering.. ☺ ☺

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  1. Maria Gordon
    September 8, 2019 7:22 pm

    Very interesting read, thanks for sharing, I’m wanting a cover up, this has been extremely helpful.

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