Is there an old tattoo that you regret? Or are you just tired of a previous tattoo design? We’ve gathered the top 50 tattoo cover up ideas to show you how it works for different tattoo sizes and placements and help you choose the best cover up tattoo design. Scroll down for proof that some awkward “before” can become a stunning “after”!

1. Astrological Fish Cover Up Tattoo. A cover up tattoo can be whatever you want, especially with a team of talented artists on your side. We love this fish design that makes use of darker shades and horoscope inspiration to hide the first tattoo design. Cover up tattoos with astrological meanings are always a popular pick!

Faded Quote Tattoo Cover Up

via @o.ri_tattoo

2. Vivid Butterfly Tattoo Cover Up. Butterfly tattoos represent rebirth, freedom and life, making them a perfect motif if you want a meaningful cover up. This design mixes blue and pink ink to completely cover the first design — take notes if you love bursts of color.

Butterfly Cover Up Tattoo Before and After

via @tattoosbykaitlin

3. Pup-Perfection Cover Up Dogs are man’s best friend in real life and in tattoo cover ups. This dog portrait covers an old tattoo with detailed shading and a realistic finish. Add extra meaning by choosing a photo of your pet! We recommend working with a skilled tattoo artist for high-quality finish.

Collarbone Wings Tattoo Cover Up

via @psychotattoo

4. Fruity Cover Up Tattoo. Got a forearm tattoo that needs to go? Take inspiration from this fruit and berry design. Here, the tattoo artist mixes dark shading and a crafty placement to obscure the previous design. Add fruit-inspired cover up tattoos to your Pinterest board ASAP!

Covering One Word Wrist Tattoo with Fruit Tattoo

via @harry_color

5. Tiny Tattoo Cover Up. Many cover up ideas focus on large tattoo cover ups, but you may also want to cover a small tattoo, and the result may wow. The intricate deer head covers the old tattoo perfectly thanks to shading and dark ink.

Small Tattoo Cover Up

via @ahmedabad_tattoo_studio

6. Intricate Flowers Inspiration. Florals will always be a popular tattoo design, especially when covering a faded tattoo. This artist covers the back tattoo completely with pink shading and strategic spine placement. No dark ink here!

Feminine Spine Tattoo Cover Up Design

via @iriss_tattoo

7. Traditional Cover Tattoos. Calling all fans of traditional tattoos! This cover up tattoo uses black ink and colorful shading to perfectly cover the old ink. However, it looks like the original tattoo had some laser removal to make it lighter. Consider this before you choose your cover up tattoos.

Calf Cover Up Tattoo for Women


8. Double Tattoo Cover Up Ideas. Got not one, but two tattoos you want to hide? These cover ups will give you some placement inspiration. Here, the artist uses one new tattoo to hide two small ones. All the best tattoo cover ups can hide more than one ugly design!

Two Old Tattoos Covered with One Bigger Design

via @tomas_daubaras_d

9. Realistic Fruit Design. If you feel drawn to the realism tattoo trend, use your tattoo cover as an excuse to jump on this body art trend. This vibrant design replicates oranges, and the artist doesn’t scrimp on the pigment!

Small Ugly Tattoo Colorful Cover Up

via @myungdo___

10. Black Ink Astronaut Tattoo Cover. Astronauts are known for their white suits, but this tattoo shows the beauty of darker shading. The previous tattoo was a faded bird design, and the ink had to be dark to match the original tattoo.

Tattoo to Cover Faded Birds

via @cantattooer

11. Sea-Inspired Tattoo Cover Up. If you like the vibe of your existing tattoo, but want to make it look better, consider redesigning it with a cover up. This artist takes the design from simple to impressive by adding more details to the original motif of this feminine collarbone tattoo. Cover up tattoos should always be an improvement on the first design!

Same Theme yet Elaborate Cover Up Tattoo

via @tattoowithme

12. Abstract Art Tattoo Cover Up. A cover up tattoo doesn’t have to be a realistic shape! You can hide your unwanted tattoo with a piece of unique art. This design takes a realistic face and distorts it. You’d never guess what the old tattoo even looked like!

Short Quote Cover Up with Abstract Tattoo Art

via @nickavge

13. Linear Cover Up Tattoos. Trying to hide an old linear tattoo? You don’t have to change the shape! Your new cover up can cover the line-based shape with a new tattoo idea — just like this autumnal-inspired design. It’s seasonal and beautiful.

Calf Chinese Characters Tattoo Cover Up

via @newtattoo_demi

14. Floral Bouquet Cover Up Tattoo. Gift yourself a bouquet of flowers with this cover up tattoo design. This artist has used lighter colors and strategic shading across a large back tattoo in order to hide the original ugly tattoo. A cover up we love!

Back Feminine Floral Cover Up Tattoo

via @tattooist_silo

15. Hand Tattoo Cover Up. Need to cover up a hand tattoo? This doesn’t have to be a stressful process! Skilled artists can hide your original tattoo and even blend the tattoo into a sleeve design. This artist uses a detailed tiger cover to hide the faded design.

Hand Jesus Tattoo Cover Up

via @lucasmaia.c

16. Mini Tattoo Cover Up. Small tattoos are easier to cover, but you don’t need to replace them with a giant cover up. This behind-the-ear proves you can breathe new life into a feather tattoo without changing the design — and the dainty result looks great!

Small Behind Ear Tattoo Cover Up for Women

via @o.ri_tattoo

17. Upper Arm Cover Up Tattoo. The upper arm is a perfect tattoo placement, but if the old tattoo doesn’t feel yours anymore, it’s time for a makeover. This good tattoo cover has perfectly covered the old football club logo with a black ink deer design.

Beautiful Upper Arm Men's Tattoo Cover Up

via @psychotattoo

18. Line Art Cover Up Tattoo. Line art tattoos aren’t always possible with cover ups, but this artist proves you can choose a design with thin lines! The negative space in this wrist is taking our breath away!

Wrist Cover Up Tattoo with Fine Shading

via @chrislayne_tattoo

19. Colorful Ink Only Cover Up Tattoo. Not everyone wants black tattoos, and you can still create an amazing cover with colorful hues — as proven by this talented artist. The bright colors and lines make a perfect small tattoo cover up.

Cute Faded Color Tattoo Cover Up

via @sisi.lovelove

20. Feminine Upper Arm Cover Up Tattoo. Cover your existing ink with a feminine design to replicate your new style. Name tattoos make common cover up cases, and this pick proves that you can replace old writing with new art without stress.

Name Tattoo Cover Up Before and After

via @angelsouzatattoos

21. Sunflower Cover Up Tattoo. Cover up tattoo ideas work for old tattoos, but they’re also a great solution for scars and birthmarks. While we believe scars are beautiful and part of life, a new image can give you freedom, too. This sunflower design represents positivity and it covers the basic black tattoo — a win-win.

1983 and Self Harm Scars Cover Up Tattoo

via @luzi.o.kult

22. Watercolor Feather Tattoo Cover Up. If you’re covering a dark tattoo design, you’ll need some darker shades (unless the tattoo is faded). However, this doesn’t mean you can’t include any color at all! This feather proves you can mix light and dark ink for an effective result.

Ugly Tattoo Cover Up with a Feather Tattoo

via @dudo_tattoos

23. Gray Sleeve Tattoo Cover. Laser treatment isn’t the only method of hiding an old tattoo. You can cover your old tattoo idea with a half or full sleeve tattoo. This artist uses a large tattoo to cover the client’s forearm, giving a cohesive sleeve effect. Very sophisticated and masculine.

Full Sleeve Cover Up Tattoo Design

via @szincsakrobtattoo

24. Moon-Inspired Cover Up Tattoo. Have you always been fascinated by the moon and space? This out of this world design mixes ink art and boxy shapes to create a modern design. Here, the new tattoo perfectly covers the previous tattoo, but extra illustrations have been added for more detail.

Cover Up Tattoo Using Some Elements of Previous Tattoo


25. Realistic Sleeve Tattoo Cover. Whatever your reason for an unwanted tattoo cover, there’s an artist out there to transform your body. This new tattoo makes up part of an entire sleeve without looking out of place. If you like this, explore more portrait cover up tattoos before you book your appointment!

Sleeve Female's Face Tattoo Cover Up

via @tomas_daubaras_d

26. Rose Tattoo Cover Up Ideas. Tattoo ideas can be difficult to come up with, but you can’t go wrong with a rose tattoo. A magnificent choice for a tattoo on or near breasts. Ask your tattoo artist to add a pop of green in the leaves for a realistic looking design.

Rose Cover Up Tattoo Idea

via @myungdo___

27. Moth Forearm Tattoo Cover Up Design. Moths are just as beautiful as butterflies, and this tattoo cover up proves it. This cover up design is so slick, you’d never guess there was curvy line writing underneath!

Font Tattoo Cover Up with a Butterfly Tattoo Design

via @cantattooer

28. Collarbone Tattoo Cover Up. Covering tattoos isn’t just for arms. The best tattoo artists can cover bad tattoos anywhere on your body. This design covers a faded design with a masculine deconstructed scythe motif, perfect for any horror fans.

Masculine Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea

via @nickavge

29. Flower-Inspired Shoulder Tattoo Cover Up. Add some beauty to your shoulder area by removing faded tattoo designs with a large cover up. This artist uses lots of blank ink to ensure the first design is completely hidden. If you don’t want cover up tattoo ideas that are super dark, explore colorful shading alternatives for a lighter result.

Eagle and Cross Tattoos Cover Ups

via @peaceofinktattoostudio

30. Angel Wing Cover Up Tattoo. Angel wings make great tattoo cover up ideas and can skillfully hide a name tattoo or a cartoon. This way, you can skip painful tattoo removal and leave the shop with an aesthetic design — like the black and white ink design featured below.

Wind Tattoo Design over Faded Hand Tattoo

via @nope98tattoo

31. Enhanced Cover Up Tattoo. If you’re not looking for a complete design change, you can use a tattoo cover that mimics your old tattoo. For example, this client enhanced their floral tattoo with extra line detail, more flowers, and brighter colors — beautiful!

Floral Cover Up Tattoo over a Subtle Design

via @tattooist_silo

32. Purple & Blue Flower Cover Up. Cover up tattoo ideas often need to use lots of shading and dark ink to hide your first design. This cover up uses rich blue and purple shades to hide the initial dark lines — your secret old tattoo is hidden forever! Nearly all shades can be used to hide dark ink, but you might need to get your tattoo removed first if you want pastel ink.

Ugly Woman Profile Tattoo Cover Up Before and After

via @darkmouse_tattoo

33. Detailed Dragon Back Cover Up. Add a hint of fantasy to your skin with an extremely detailed dragon cover up tattoo. This example uses bright floral patches to cover the tattoo, and the ink on the dragon design is much lighter. The two styles create an interesting contrast — great if you want an eye-catching design.

Before and After Ugly Old Tattoo Cover Up

via @yerae_tt

34. Mandala-Inspired Cover Up Tattoo. Bad tattoos can fade or bleed over time, and when this starts to happen it might be time to get a cover up. This artist cleverly hid an old heart beat design under a Mandala-inspired pattern. You’d never guess there was another tattoo underneath!

Mandala Cover Up Tattoo over Initials and Heart Beat Design

via @1920tattoozhub

35. Small Wrist Cover Up Tattoo. A cover up tattoo with sections of blank space is rare, but talented artists can do it! This wrist tattoo covers the small initial tattoo with the bird’s tail feathers. The rest of the piece focuses on thin line work and negative space for an overall impressive result.

Tattoo Incorporating Small Old Tattoo into New Designs

via @chiara.akamon

36. Tree Line Cover Up Tattoo. Show your love for hiking and the great outdoors with a strategic tree line cover up tattoo. This design carefully covers the original design with dark pine trees, ensuring you’ll never see it again.

Travel Cover Up Tattoo

via @p_kaos_tattoo_valladolid

37. Striking Pink Floral Foot & Leg Tattoos. Cover ups aren’t limited to arms, as proven by this impressive leg cover up. This design carefully wraps around the ankle and foot to cover the first design. The hints of pink perfectly balance out the dark areas, keeping the design light and not too blocky.

Tribal Tattoo Cover Up

via @michaelgagnontattoo

38. Realistic Warrior Cover Up Tattoo. If you’re not keen on tattoo removal, you can hide your ugly tattoo with a hardcore warrior design. This artist mixes strong blue and gray tones to cover up the first design. Plus, the minimal color palette brings more attention to the precise details — a piece of art you’ll want your friends to see.

Naked Women Tattoo Cover Up for Men


39. Gorilla Tattoo Cover Design. A tattoo cover will usually need to be darker than the original design. If your first design is color-heavy, you’ll need to explore black ink tattoos — like this impressive gorilla leg design. There’s lots of dark ink but also hints of gray and red to provide lighter details.

Black Cover Up Tattoo Gorilla Design

via @droman13tattoo

40. Chinese Character Cover Up. Fallen into the trap of getting a tattoo that you can’t translate? A floral cover up is an easy fix! Foreign language tattoos are beautiful, but if you’re ready for a change a row of pink, purple, and blue flowers is the perfect cover.

Dainty Flowers Tattoo to Cover Up Chinese Characters

via @o.ri_tattoo

41. Lion Chest Cover Up. Lion and tiger are extremely popular chest tattoos, and for a good reason. Cover up your old or faded chest artwork with this clever tattoo cover design. Color can be added for an extra level of detail.

Chest Lion Tattoo Covering Faded Tribal Tattoo

via @psychotattoo

42. Half Mandala Tattoo Cover Up. Sometimes, you can use features of your body to inspire your tattoo cover up ideas. This design mimics the linear wrist line, creating a striking geometric effect. It’s also a great starting point if you want a whole sleeve in the future.

Faded Small Wrist Tattoo Feminine Cover Up Design

via @lisatattoos

43. White Ink Tattoo Cover Up Ideas. Cover up tattoos can feature sections of white ink, and this is a great technique for adding highlights to any design. This tattoo cover up uses dark floral shapes to cover the first tattoo. White ink is added last to create some contrast, a detail that brings the whole cover up image to life.

Flowers Tattoo to Cover Up Stars Tattoo

via @machutattoos

44. Sleeve Cover Up Tattoo. Many cover up tattoos start a sleeve design, but what should you do if you’ve already started a sleeve and want to change it? Cover up the whole sleeve! Large cover up tattoo ideas are here to help you start all over again — like this extremely detailed owl design. Dramatic, dark, and ready to impress all onlookers.

Large Tattoo Cover Up Idea

via @rafaelmendestattoo

45. Blue Rose Tattoo Cover Up. Forget everything you know about white and red roses. This cover up tattoo proves that blue roses are the most beautiful variation. This beautiful design replaces some dark text, proving that lighter inks can make great cover up tattoo ideas.

Ugly Font Quote Tattoo Cover Up

via @myungdo___

46. Compass and Bird Cover Up. The best tattoo cover ups look like fresh designs, and that’s exactly what this bird and compass design does. Thanks to the clever placement and shading, you’d never know an ugly name design was hiding under the cover up tattoo.

Name Tattoo on the Back Cover Up Design for Men

via @pampiai

47. Crescent Moon Tattoo Refresh. While we love tattoo cover up ideas, it’s also great to see old tattoos receive a new lease of life. This old moon tattoo has been refreshed with brighter ink, larger flowers, and an overall new look.

New Tattoo over the Old One to Renew Colors and Update Design

via @yerae_tt

48. Color Match Tattoo Cover Up Ideas. It’s often easier to hide old tattoos when you match the color to the new tattoo cover up idea. This artist has used the bright sky blue tone from the first design in the cover up butterfly wings. This is a great way to pay homage to the original design.

Blue Butterflies Cover Up Tattoos

via @halfpint.x

49. Silhouette Cover Up Tattoo. No design is too blocky or dark to cover up, as proven by this skilled tattoo artist. Here, the original silhouette design is replaced with an extreme portrait tattoo — show this to your artist for some bespoke tattoo cover up ideas.

Black Ink Cover Up Tattoo

via @electricsheepszczecin

50. Starry Night Sky Cover Up. Cover up tattoos can be inspired by anything, including the magnificent night sky. This cover up tattoo uses an organized ‘box style’ which involves clear borders and a rectangle shape.

Nice Cover Up for Simple Starry Night Tattoo

via @tattoowithme

Whatever your reason, opting for a cover up tattoo is an exciting decision. From dainty butterfly tattoo options to bold dark patterns, there’s a cover up for all styles!

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Isobel Coughlan
Isobel studied at the Arts University Bournemouth and graduated with a First-Class degree in Fashion Design. That's why she's extra passionate about writing for brands with a fashion and beauty focus. Among other things, she loves to cover historical fashion and current trends.

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