What you need to know about getting a tattoo covered

A professional tattoo artist can help you

THERE may be situations in which you consider getting a tattoo removed or covered, and like when you first get one, it is best to know what to expect.

This week we will talk about cover-up tattoos.


There are many reasons why you may want to get a tattoo covered, especially because a new tattoo didn’t come out as expected, because you no longer like the look of an old tattoo or maybe because whatever you had tattooed no longer holds significance for you.

Discuss it

When you get a cover-up tattoo, the cost will be based on the work that needs to be done and of course the process will be harder on large very dark tattoos, in some cases even impossible.

Talk to your chosen tattoo artist to decide how to best cover your tattoo with a new design that you like and choose something that you like.

If anything, finding an experienced and professional tattoo artist for cover-up is even more important that it was the first time round. If a cover-up is botched, it will make it even worse.


When you are getting a cover-up tattoo, the ink should go into the same layer of dermis as the original tattoo. The tattoo artist will explain how colours mix underneath the skin and dark colours will obviously be dominant. You can’t cover darker colour tattoos with a light colour.

Many tattoo artists will propose using black ink to cover a tattoo but they will also take into account the colours of the original tattoo and how the new colours will affect it. This means that what you can expect are darker shades of the same colours you have, black ink, or the idea of mixing inks to make a new colour.


The procedure will follow several steps.

First the artist will put tracing paper over your old tattoo to trace the design and know the exact size and lines they need to work with. Once this is done, another sheet of paper can be placed over it to draw the new design.

Expert cover-up tattoo artists will know how to incorporate both designs. Avoid tattoo artists who suggest obliterating the original tattoo. The aim is to make new and beautiful patterns which detract from the old tattoo and give you a design that you will be proud to show off.


A cover-up design will generally be 30 per cent larger than the original tattoo. Make sure that you discuss this with the tattoo artist and if you are a little unsure about tattooing such a large area, then the utmost care should be taken to ensure you get a design you are happy with.

It is also important to know that as tattoos fade over time, it is a lot easier to conceal and old tattoo than it is a new one.

Find artists who use good quality ink which will take longer to fade, and be aware that certain parts of the body are more prone to fading quicker.

Pain and healing

Be aware that a cover-up tattoo will probably hurt more than the original because the artist is tattooing on scar tissue.

It is also important to take extra care during the healing process. Follow the artist’s advice, and as we recommended in our previous article, follow these steps carefully. Do not rub or wipe the tattoo, avoid getting it wet and stay out of the sun.

In our next article we will be talking about removing tattoos.

If you are thinking of getting a tattoo on the Costa del Sol or need a reputable tattoo studio to cover up a previous design, then check out Jaganath Tattoos and Piercing, Calle Ramon y Cajal 42, Fuengirola

Jaganath tattoos and piercing Costa del Sol

See designs by Jaganath Tattoos on Facebook and Instagram.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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