Here at Chronic Ink, we love to create amazing body art that helps people express the personalities. However, every so often, an individual’s passion and preferences may change and they come to us with an existing tattoo that they aren’t so crazy about any more. In these cases, we normally start discussing the possibility of a tattoo cover-up. There are a lot of questions that come with getting a cover-up and we want to make you feel comfortable with the whole process. For this reason, we’ve organized some of the most common questions below:
Every tattoo can be covered up but it requires a collaborative effort between the artist and the person looking for a cover-up to get the job done right. We don’t want to just cover up your tattoo- we want you to love your new design. Special care is given to each tattoo starting with the design. Cover-ups will usually have to be bigger than your original tattoo and your artist will work with you to create something special that matches your style and expectations. If you have a great cover-up idea, make sure that you go in for a consultation first to discuss it with your artist.
The goal of a tattoo cover up is to turn your original tattoo into a new showpiece- something you’re proud to showcase to the world. For this reason, we don’t put a premium on our cover-ups and instead we charge our standard rates. We want you to be satisfied with your new tattoo and treat it as if you were getting some fresh ink - which you are! For tattoo cover-ups that take 4 hours or less to complete, we charge by the piece. For cover-ups that take longer than 4 hours, we charge by the hour.
You’re going to want your cover-up to be done right and to look great. This means making sure your old tattoo is completely covered up or disguised by the new design. To make sure your cover up is done right, it may take more time than a standard tattoo because your tattoo artist will have to go over the piece a few more times than usual. Other factors such as the intensity of the original ink and type of art your tattoo artist decides to put over it will also factor into the time it takes to execute the tattoo cover-up. Since the amount of time will vary from person-to- person, we recommend scheduling a consultation with your artist first so that you can get an expert’s opinion on how long it will take for your cover up tattoo.
You want to make sure that your tattoo artist is confident with the new design, which is why it’s important to have a consultation first. While most tattoos are eligible for a cover-up, the more “photo-realistic” the tattoo is, the more challenging the cover-up will be because tattoo cover-ups often work best when the same style is used for the new tattoo. Faces are also generally more challenging to cover because your artist will have to distort a face into a new design. Despite this, we encourage you to have a consultation with a tattoo artist to discuss your tattoo cover-up idea so that you can work with them to find a solution that is most fitting for your situation.
Our philosophy has never been to just tattoo over a scar but to use the design of a tattoo to draw a viewer’s eye away from the scar itself. We do this because some scars will take ink while others may not. By putting a well-designed image around scars, even if some spots wont take ink, the scars are no longer obvious. In this case, the tattoo is designed to draw the focus away from the scar or even incorporate the scar into the tattoo’s design.
For any tattoo artist. tattoo cover-ups are challenging and sometimes are too prominent to immediately fix. Not everyone wants to get laser tattoo removal and we would only recommend it to individuals in special circumstances. That being said, fading a tattoo with laser tattoo removal will make the tattoo much easier to cover up. This is because laser tattoo removal can be used to remove specific high impact colors such as black and blue, which will make the cover- up a much more easier and effective process. Your tattoo artist can work with the removal team to tailor your tattoo fading for your cover-up. This will help lead to a better final design for you. If you are considering fading your tattoo before you start a cover-up, we recommend that you check out www.tattoo-removal-canada.com. We've worked with them on many occasions and they have a good fading procedure. For more information on this subject, check out our blog post on laser tattoo removal for covering up tattoos.