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Cover-up tattoos - How easy are they? | Wholesale Tattoo Ink UK


Today I want to talk about Cover up tattoos!  Like many tattooed people, I have a couple of cover-ups myself after wanting to get rid of some bad tattoos I had done years ago before I had any knowledge about the tattoo industry, and the talented tattoo artists out there now.  I hadn't put a lot of thought into the designs I'd chosen - (an anchor or my thigh, and some peony flowers on me elbow), and the artists I'd gone to at the time were relatively new to tattooing, so the end result wasn't the greatest!  Years later, after much debate I decided to get them covered.  Laser was never an option for me - the regrettable tattoos were certainly not the end of the world, (plus I absolutely hate the idea of laser, it literally makes my skin crawl - I've seen how it looks afterwards and although I don't enjoy the pain of being tattooed, it seems like the lesser of evils in comparison!).  

People often get questionable tattoos that years down the line they end up regretting, some get ex-partner's names, others get pieces that they eventually want to cover because the concept becomes dated over time.  There are so many fads and fashions that come and go, and they fancy a big change!  Either way, we're fortunate that there are some amazing artists out there who are able (and willing) to cover up other people's work, but that doesn't mean it's an easy job, and quite often it's not even possible.  I think customers can have quite high expectations when it comes to cover-up tattoos and will assume that any tattoo can be covered up, by anything... This definitely isn't the case, and any good tattooer will let this be known rather than attempt to cover something that isn't salvageable just to keep the customer happy. I have both of my feet fully tattooed with swallows - one is dark red and purple, and the other is green and blue, but the tattoos weren't very well done, and became blown-out (not a great look!), so I looked into getting these covered up.  I was told that the only feasible way to cover these up would be to literally black them out, or have some kind of huge, mostly black design on them.  Aside from that - laser (again, not an option for me!), so for the time-being my dodgy feet tattoos remain until I decide what I'd like to do with them.  Not to mention, they were the most painful tattoo I've ever had, so I'm definitely in no rush to rescue them!  As a seller of Wholesale Tattoo Ink UK, helps to have knowledge of how cover-up tattoos work, so if you're thinking of getting a cover-up, it's worth considering these next points!

Quite often the best course of action for a cover up, is to work with your tattoo artist to come up with a design that is ideal for both of you.  It may involve compromise, but trust me, it'll be worth it!  You'll need a proper consultation with your tattoo artist so they can trace over the original design, and the size of the area so they can see exactly what they're contending with.  There's a good chance you'll need to go for a design that's predominantly dark, at least around the area where the original tattoo directly sits, and it will most likely have to be a significantly bigger piece in order to work a design around the old tattoo.  It'll also have to be angled in a way that works.  This can often come as a surprise to some customers as I think a lot of people expect that things like black Chinese symbols can be covered with a delicate pink rose the same size, but this certainly won't be the reality of the situation.  Tattoo ink doesn't work in the same way that paint does - and painting a couple of layers of pale pink over black will absolutely not work.  It's also worth noting that you may need a couple of touch-up sessions after your first cover-up, as once the ink settles and heals it may appear lighter on the skin, in which case the old ink may peek through, depending on the design and depth of the cover-up.

The best advice I can give is to research different tattoo artists out there, and talk with them to make sure you're both happy with the final design - they will be able to manage your expectations, and give you an honest answer as to whether or not your desired design is possible, and will still look good after it's healed.  You don't want to have to go through the cover-up process again after the initial cover-up doesn't work, and again, any good tattoo artist will only tattoo something if they deem it do-able in the first place! 

I've came across a couple of excellent cover ups that I wanted share, to show just how amazing cover-ups can be when they're done right!  They're bigger than the original designs, with a lot more depth and darker colours.  The Shark piece blows my mind a little as I have no idea how the artist has managed to execute this piece without completely blacking bits out, so kudos to whoever did this! 


If you guys have any cover-ups tattoos, we'd love to hear about them! Or, if you're debating covering an old tattoo then why not leave us a comment in the comment section?  Don't forget, if you're in need of some new tattoo ink, we sell Wholesale Tattoo Ink UK over on our website!



Love Toni x




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  • Antonia McLoughlin