Cover Ups

We have many customers asking for cover-ups, so I’ve written a quick explanation to help people understand how it works.

Why do people want a cover-up? Several reasons:

  • The tattoo is dated and not who you are anymore
  • Not done very well
  • An exes name
  • Just a rubbish tattoo!

Cover-ups aren’t always as simple as just slapping another tattoo over an existing one. When asked the question ‘Do you do cover-ups?’ or ‘Can you cover this up?’ there are many questions needed to be asked and factors involved before saying yes. As to whether we can cover-up a no longer wanted tattoo, it depends on how big and dark it is and what design the customer wants over it. Cover-ups have to be darker and generally go 3 to 4 times bigger, which isn’t always the desired thing.



Unfortunately, there are studios out there (and T.V shows!) that don’t explain a lot of this and are not very good at cover-ups, so invariably the person goes away with another tattoo nightmare! A talented artist will incorporate your old tattoo into a new design and ensure it can’t be seen once healed, also making a focal point elsewhere within the new tattoo to take the eye away from where the original one is. This all takes time and isn’t something that can be done in a quick sitting. Some styles of tattooing can lend themselves well to cover-ups, due to large areas of dark colour that can be put in, these are:

  • Negative space tattoos
  • Total blackout
  • Geometric
  • Trash Polka
  • Bio-organic
  • Bio-mech

Tattoo artists are not magicians and can’t cover up something dark with a light pink rose for example. Also, lacy bows and things where there is a lot of gapping in the design means you may see the old tattoo in the spaces, so consider sensibly what you want and don’t expect the artists to perform miracles! Trust them and take their advice.

Ofcourse the only option in some cases maybe laser, which is why we do have our laser machine at Pictures of Lily (check out the laser removal blog – ). Lightening up a tattoo will give you better options as to a cover up and although time consuming it may be the best decision. Women often want something quite feminine and not big, dark and heavy, so laser is likely to be the way forward, particularly if they want that light pink rose or lacey bow!

The most important thing is to find a good tattooist who knows how to do a cover-up and won’t lie to you. Check out their work and check out any previous cover-ups they have done. Don’t just look around for the cheapest, if you want good artwork, you’ll pay for it. Getting tattooed shouldn’t be about shopping around for the lowest price, particularly if you want quality and don’t want another tattoo regret!

When you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, don’t rush into it. Think about the design, why you want it and where you have it. Fashions will go out of fashion and although what you want as an impulsive 18-year-old, who just wants a tattoo, you may regret that decision a few years later and wish you’d thought more about it (have a read of the blog I wrote about choosing your first tattoo –

If you’ve got a tattoo you no longer want, come by the studio for a chat with one of the artists and see how we can help.