From ink to art: the power of cover up tattoos

Cover Up Tattoos: What is possible?

A tattoo can be an expression of personality, memories, or even art. However, sometimes a tattoo may lose its original meaning or no longer align with one’s vision.

In such cases, cover-up tattoos provide the opportunity to conceal the past and make room for something new. In this article, we will take a look at cover-up tattoos, explain what is possible, explore current cover-up designs, and discuss the limitations of these creative solutions.

What are cover up tattoos?

Cover up tattoos are tattoos that are inked over existing tattoos to cover up or modify them.

It requires careful planning and working with an experienced tattoo artist to achieve a successful result. Through skillful design, shading techniques, and strategic placement, old tattoos can be transformed into beautiful works of art.


Which cover-up motifs are suitable?

When covering up a tattoo, it is important that the new motif covers both the shape and the color of the old tattoo. In order to make the old motif disappear, the artist integrates it into the new motif and usually requires more space. This means that the new tattoo will be noticeably larger than the original.

To cover the colors of the old tattoo and achieve a harmonious integration, multiple layers of color are often necessary. In some cases it may even be necessary to overlay certain color pigments with black ink. As a result, the new tattoo not only becomes larger but also darker than the original.

If you already have a very dark tattoo, there are alternative options. You could have the tattoo lightened or removed with a laser treatment and then get the desired motif inked. The smaller and lighter the tattoo, the easier it is to cover up.


The world of cover up tattoos offers a multitude of creative possibilities. Here are some themes that are currently popular:


  • Nature motifs: Flowers, plants, leaves or vines are popular motifs that work well for  covering up old tattoos. With clever placement and detailed execution, they can seamlessly integrate the old motif and create a new, aesthetic appearance.
  • Animal motifs: Animals offer a variety of options for cover-up tattoos. From majestic lions to elegant birds, animal themed tattoos can effectively cover old tattoos while adding new meaning.
  • Geometric patterns: Geometric patterns such as triangles, circles or lines are modern and minimalist. They can be used to discreetly cover up old tattoos to create a stylish, abstract design.
  • Traditional Symbols: Symbols such as anchors, hearts, crosses or mandalas can be used to cover up old tattoos while representing a deeper meaning or personal connection.
  • Portraits: Portraits of loved ones or inspiring personalities can serve as cover-up motifs. Through skillful design, they can cover up the old tattoo and create a new meaningful artwork. 
  • Abstract art: Abstract motifs offer a wide range of creative possibilities for covering up old tattoos. With colors, shapes, and lines, unique and individual cover-up designs can be created.

It’s important that you work with an experienced tattoo artist to find the best cover up design for your specific needs and preferences. At Blade & Shade we work with cover up specialists who have many years of experience in this field. We can assist you in selecting a design, simply book a non-binding initial appointment with us online.


The Limits of Cover Up Tattoos

Although cover up tattoos are a fantastic option to cover up unwanted tattoos, there are certain limitations that should be kept in mind. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Size and Darkness: Large, dark tattoos often require more effort to cover them up. The larger and darker the original tattoo, the more limited the options for a cover up. Light or small tattoos, on the other hand, are easier to cover up.
  • Artistic Skills: The skill and experience of the tattoo artist plays a crucial role in creating a successful cover up tattoo. An experienced tattoo artist analyzes the old tattoo to choose the best techniques and the most appropriate design for a successful result.
  • Realistic Expectations: It is important to have realistic expectations. A cover up tattoo cannot always cover up every detail of the old tattoo. It may be necessary to modify the design or add elements to achieve the ideal result.
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