Flame Wise Ink

How Cover-ups Work? Everything You Need to Know

Tattoos are powerful expressions of our identities, experiences, and personal stories. However, as we evolve and grow, our feelings towards our tattoos may change. Whether it’s due to a change in personal preferences, a desire to forget a past phase, or simply because the tattoo didn’t age well, tattoo cover-ups can offer a fresh start. But what exactly are tattoo cover-ups, and how do they work? Let’s delve into the transformative world of tattoo cover-ups.

What is a Tattoo Cover-up?

A tattoo cover-up is a process where a new tattoo design is inked over an existing one, effectively masking the old tattoo with a new piece of art. This process requires careful planning, creativity, and expertise, as it involves dealing with the color, size, and design of the old tattoo.

The Cover-Up Process: A Blend of Art and Technique

  1. Consultation: Every successful tattoo cover-up starts with a thorough consultation. This is where you discuss your old tattoo, your reasons for wanting a cover-up, and your ideas for the new design with your artist. The artist will assess the existing tattoo, considering factors like its size, color saturation, and location, to determine the most suitable approach for the cover-up.
  2. Designing: Cover-up tattoos demand a high level of creativity and technical skill. The new design needs to incorporate and mask the old tattoo effectively. Darker colors, bigger, and more complex designs are often used for cover-ups, as they can better hide the old tattoo. It’s not simply about placing a new design over the old one; it’s about integrating the old and new in a way that’s harmonious and aesthetically pleasing.
  3. Inking: Once the design is finalized, the artist begins the process of tattooing. This is much like any other tattooing process, but the artist must be careful to ensure that the new tattoo completely covers the old one.
  4. Healing: Aftercare for a cover-up tattoo is similar to that of a regular tattoo, involving cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting the area from sun exposure. However, healing might take a bit longer due to the tattoo’s complexity and the extra ink used.

Things to Keep in Mind

Cover-ups are not suitable for all tattoos. Extremely dark or large tattoos might not be completely coverable, and in such cases, tattoo artists might recommend tattoo removal or lightening through laser treatments before proceeding with a cover-up.

Moreover, remember that the success of a cover-up depends heavily on the skill and experience of the tattoo artist. It’s crucial to choose an artist who specializes in cover-ups and can provide examples of their previous work.


Tattoo cover-ups are a beautiful testament to the human capacity for change, growth, and renewal. They allow us to transform a piece of our past into something new that aligns better with our present self. At Flame Wise Ink, we are experienced in creating successful and beautiful cover-ups that honor your personal journey. If you are considering a tattoo cover-up, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help guide you through this transformative process.

About the Author

About the Author

Flame Wise Ink is a progressive tattoo studio located in Toronto that offers a wide variety of styles done by the best tattoo artists with an individual approach.