Let’s talk about cover-ups. The damage is already done, and you are currently sporting a tattoo you wished you hadn’t gotten in the first place.
Unfortunately, your options are limited to two available solutions: a cover-up tattoo or laser removal. While neither is cheap, one is significantly more exciting than the other (if you ask us). In this blog post, we’re going to talk about both of these options, and what you need to keep in mind when getting a coverup tattoo.
Cover-up or tattoo removal?
If you are positively, absolutely, and unquestionably done with tattoos, and are ready to break free of them forever, then laser removal is the way to go. As unpleasant, painful, and expensive as it can get, you will walk out tattoo-free.
We wish we could also say you will be mark-free, but we cannot. As high as your expectations might be, unfortunately, there is no telling how your skin will take the laser removal procedure. It will all come down to a few major factors, such as:
- The size of your tattoo
- How deep the tattoo ink was injected under the surface of the skin
- How your skin type reacts to a certain laser removal technique
- How skillful the laser technician is
Chances are, the tattoo will be gone, but your skin will get scarred in its place. Hence, do not make this decision lightly.
Your second option for getting rid of an unwanted tattoo, is a tattoo cover-up. While it may be even costlier than the laser removal, it is definitely much more exciting, and should result (with the emphasis on ‘should’) in a much more successful outcome.
Factors that will affect your coverup tattoo
There are a few important rules to be understood and followed when considering a coverup tattoo.
The size & style
The coverup tattoo needs to be approximately 2.5-3 times larger in size than the underlying tattoo in order to fully mask it.
Depending on the initial tattoo, sometimes only a few select styles will work effectively as a potential cover-up option, while other styles will be useless for this purpose. The darker the underlying tattoo, the more intense and contrasting the cover-up design needs to be. A light-colored intricate lace design, for example, won’t serve the purpose of a cover-up.
It will need to be custom
There’s no relying on off-the-wall or off-the-internet designs when it comes to cover-up tattoos. In most cases, these designs are useless and should not be considered. Each cover-up needs to be custom designed in order to be successful. It needs to take into consideration the placement, natural body lines and the shape of the underlying tattoo, as well as its intensity.
Your tattoo artist
When choosing the perfect tattoo artist for the job, extensive research can help eliminate potential problems, such as having to deal with a poorly done cover-up or retreating to laser after the fact. One mustn’t assume that all tattoo artists are equally skillful in cover-up solutions. It is always advisable to choose someone who specifically specializes in cover-up tattoos to avoid many potential pitfalls.
For example, you may have heard of the cases in which potential clients seeking cover-ups were advised to cover it all with black ink. An experienced cover-up tattoo artist will never suggest this option because he knows how to make cover up work without retreating to extremities. Creativity and experience are the keys to a successful coverup tattoo.
In order to make things work, once the tattoo artist has been chosen, they must be fully trusted to have your best interests in mind when suggesting a potential cover-up option. If in doubt, a second opinion from a different tattoo artist may be helpful to eliminate your doubts.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is also a possibility that your initial tattoo is so dark or set so deep into the skin that you will need to utilize a two-step process. This involves undergoing laser removal first, followed by a cover-up tattoo in order to solve that problem. Your cover-up tattoo artist will be able to advise you on the best course of action after seeing the tattoo you are seeking a creative solution for.
In conclusion, covering up your tattoo is a big decision. But if you do your research, make an educated decision and find the right cover-up tattoo artist, you’ll be able to avoid future problems. You’ll also come out of it loving your new tattoo.
If you’re in Austin, Texas and want to cover up an unwanted tattoo, talk to us at ArtHouse. You can also see some of our before and after cover up examples online.