The 10 Best Tattoos to Cover Up Another Tattoo

Tattoos are meant to be permanent, but sometimes you just change your mind about how you want something to look. Thankfully, you can take care of it through tattoo cover-up. Whether you need help deciding what to cover up or where to get your new ink done, this guide has you covered. We’ll go over some of the most popular tattoo cover-up ideas and explain why they work so well. You’ll also find recommendations on which artists in various cities specialize in cover-ups and what they’ve had success with in the past.

1) Sea Lions

It may seem like covering an old tattoo would be impossible, but sea lions are ready for such a challenge. They spend most of their time on land, making up more than 50 percent of California’s coastal population. However, they do take frequent dives in search of food, and that means exposure to sun and saltwater—both of which can fade old tattoos over time. Additionally, sea lions love to swim along currents because it keeps them warmer than swimming against one. The combination can work well for those who want to cover an old tattoo.

2) Music Notes

Music is a great way to cover up a bad tattoo. The two things you want your cover-up tattoo to do are draw attention away from your old ink and look natural, but not too natural. Otherwise, it’ll just look like you’re trying too hard. You don’t want everyone asking what your new tattoo means; if they do ask, tell them it’s a personal symbol that has special meaning for you.

3) Fireflies

Fireflies are wonderful creatures, and if you’re looking for a tattoo that signifies your personality and love of nature, consider getting a firefly design. Fireflies tend to light up when they are in dark places—that is why they’re associated with summer nights. It’s also believed that if a single firefly lights up in an area at night it means good luck will come to those who see it. You could choose an image of just one or two fireflies or get something larger like an entire garden or field full of them. If you want to get something large make sure you talk to your artist first because in some places these designs are very hard to get rid of once done.

4) Tree Bark

Perhaps one of my favorite cover-up tattoos out there, tree bark has an interesting appeal with soft lines and a clean finish. It doesn’t stand out too much like most cover-ups and pairs well with many different styles of tattooing from watercolor style tattoos to wood cuts or tribal pieces. There are endless variations of tree bark too so you can have a lot of fun with it by getting creative with color combinations or by adding elements that line up nicely with your old piece (branches, leaves, etc). The cool thing about tree bark is that it looks great on any skin tone too so if you’re looking for something simple and easy but still want your new tattoo to be original then give tree bark a shot!

5) Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a classic choice for tattoo cover-ups. The bright, colorful designs pop on dark skin and tend to look more realistic than other flower options. If you’re going with a sunflower design, be sure your artist uses a flesh-toned ink—dark colors will show through and ruin any hope of keeping your original design intact. Sunflowers aren’t just good for covering up tattoos, they also look great on their own: Place one large flower over an existing tattoo or wear several together in a pattern over an arm or leg. No matter what color you choose, these blooms look best when paired with colorful leaves and stems—or try having them fade into an attractive vine background!

6) Roses

Roses were originally used as a way of covering up more risqué tattoos. However, if done correctly, roses can be an excellent cover-up tattoo that also carries its own set of meanings and cultural significance. The rose is often thought of as a feminine tattoo; it’s delicate and complex with many symbolic representations. Some say that roses are for those who don’t want anything too serious in their lives, but at other times it can represent love, beauty, passion and desire. Choose your rose well: While there is no hard and fast rule about what will look good over another design (or vice versa), some things are easier than others.

7) Dandelions

Dandelions are bright, beautiful flowers. But some folks see them as weeds, especially when they’re growing in a yard. Dandelions represent a person’s ability to show their individuality and stand out from everyone else. As such, it’s no surprise that if you find yourself not in agreement with your current career path, you might feel like it’s time for change. If you’re looking for an escape route from your current role but aren’t sure where to go next, check out our suggestions below!

8) Stars

A lot of celebrities have tattoos, some get them removed and others just add more. If you really like your current tattoo, but don’t like it’s placement or you think it could be improved upon, consider getting a star tattoo on top of it. Stars are fun and colorful and they can hide a whole bunch of other designs in a creative way. They will also help out with balance if you’re not happy with your existing design being lopsided on your body.

9) Clouds

If you want to cover up a tattoo that’s on your arm or leg, consider clouds. For instance, a cloud on your upper arm might cover up another tattoo near your elbow. Or, if you want to cover up a chest piece but still show off some skin, try getting a cloud tattoo on one of your shoulders. The juxtaposition of two different pieces can be visually appealing and make one another stand out more. In fact, many artists think people with multiple tattoos look best when they complement each other (or are complements of each other). Whether it’s art history or elementary school science class that tells you otherwise doesn’t matter. You have options!

10) Birds in Flight

This style of tattooing is all about elegance and beauty, and birds in flight provide just that. These tattoos work by layering small colorful images that represent different aspects of life, such as hope or knowledge. As a whole, they’re meant to inspire and bring happiness; they’re also a great way to cover up old tattoos without making them too obvious. Just look at it like you’re getting several awesome tattoos in one sitting! If you’d like a design with graceful wings that come together in peace, or if you’d prefer something more colorful with floral accents, there are so many bird designs to choose from—you won’t be disappointed.