30 Times Tattoo Artists Covered Up Tattoo Regrets With Something Cool, As Shared In This Online Group
If there's a will to tattoo your skin, there's a way to mess it up. Luckily, even if it doesn't pan out, you don't have to wear the disappointment forever. There are a couple of approaches to saving your image. This time, we'll focus on cover-ups.
They can either completely hide the old design or incorporate some of its elements into the new one, and it's amazing how big of a difference they can make.
From an alien transforming into a cat to a cross "growing" into a tree, continue scrolling to check out the cover-ups Bored Panda found on the subreddit r/FixedTattoos and the conversation about this technique that we had with Alice Kendall, the owner of Wonderland Tattoo in Portland, Oregon.
Kendall is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area but has family ties to Oregon. She began tattooing in 1993 but took it up professionally in 2001 at Infinity Tattoo in Portland.
"I started doing cover-ups pretty early in my career," the artist told Bored Panda. "I always believed that cover-ups didn't have to be super dark or all black. I believe almost any tattoo can be covered up, but it helps if people are flexible with the design and realistic about the outcome."
The process isn't as simple as just applying a new tattoo over the top of the old one. It's actually a bit different from what the term can lead you to believe.
Flowers Cover Up
When a person gets their first tattoo, the needle deposits the ink into the dermis layer (below the epidermis), at least one millimeter from the surface of the skin. The ink of the cover-up tattoo goes into the same location, so it's actually mixing with the old ink. The result is the combination of the two.
For example, if the person had something tattooed in red and an artist applies blue for the cover-up, it's going to come out purple. Darker colors dominate lighter ones, so black is usually the preferred choice in cover-up work.
If this sounds complex, that's because it is. Cover-ups are their own territory and many tattoo artists don't even venture there.
I Like Both The Before And After Of This Tattoo, But A Well Done Rework Nonetheless
You Can't Lie, This Is A Good Fix
Fantastic White Rabbit Rework By Ali Burke At Highwater Gallery, Swansea UK
"Since I tend to do full-color cover-ups, sometimes the old tattoo will bleed back through somewhat in the healing process," Alice Kendall explained. "I usually do at least one touch-up after the initial cover-up is healed. Cover-ups are most successful when you can create the designs to fit over the old tattoo and leave some negative space throughout the design."
"I also prefer to use botanicals with lots of leaves because it gives you a lot of flexibility with the shape. Darker, cooler colors cover better than warmer, lighter colors, however, white can be added to colors to help fade back the old tattoo because white is a very opaque color."
Looking back at her long career, Kendall said that breaking up the old tattoo with enough detail (black lines) and dark and light areas (highlights and shadows) is what will bring the most success.
"Another factor is the person's skin," she added. "Some people hold color (and black) so well that it's tough to suppress the old tattoo. In that case, the person may need more than one touch-up. I do think, although a faded tattoo is easier to cover, it's more cost-effective and less painful to cover a tattoo as opposed to laser removal."
Alien To Cat
With that being said, many tattoo artists prefer people to have a few laser treatments first if the original is fairly dark. "In that case, one would need to wait at least 2-3 months after removal before getting the new tattoo as lasered tattoos continue to fade for some time after treatment and can cause fading in the new work."
So cover-ups can take a while. But that means nothing when you compare this time to the life-long repulsiveness a no-longer-wanted tattoo can cause.
One Of My Favourite Backpiece Cover Up
Got This One Done A While Ago, What Do You Think About This Bad Guy On A Guy's Leg? Imo It's An Awesome "Funny" Tattoo Which I Love!
Beautiful Cover Up By Tattooist Muha
Love This Floral Cover Up!
Peacockblob Transformation Done By Whitney At Boss Tattoos In Yyc
The Bird (Remember Kurt Halsey?) Was Done Back In 2005, And The Little Leaves In 2010. Last Year In 2018, I Decided To Get A Cover Up. The Artist, Jen Tonic Who Is Currently Located In Berlin, Designed The Tattoo. The Poppy Is My State Flower
Had Gotten A “Kiwi” Tattoo With My Chihuahua Footprint In It, Great Concept But Horrible Work. Recently Got It Covered By A Wonderful Artist Who Saved The Paw Print And Gave Me A Great Piece Of My Soul Pup
Note: this post originally had 71 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.