Tattoo cover-up



At the Zen Tattoo Studio, we work really hard so that you can show who you really are and what you love through body art. With time, your tastes and preferences might change and, just like you, your tattoo might change too. If you’re looking to cover an old tattoo or a recent one you didn’t really think through, the idea of a cover-up could be for you!

It is important to understand that there are multiple steps to follow before being able to cover a tattoo and not all ideas are possible to do. Therefore, we took into consideration your worries and your questions, because it is important for us that you feel comfortable and trustful to begin the cover-up process. Here’s what to consider before showing up to the studio for a consultation with one of our artists.

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Coverup 2

Is it possible?


Any cover-up is possible if you allow your artist 100% artistic freedom, but many aren’t ready to allow such liberty to their tattooist. In that case, it is important to understand that it is not every style is suitable for a cover-up. You can forget the idea to cover a tattoo with an Ornamental style tattoo, such as mandalas or filigrees. Realism isn’t always the best choice either because you need a lot of space on the skin in order to incorporate important shadings and contrasts. We often suggest you choose an illustrative style, such as New School, Neo Traditional or Japanese.

A cover-up is well executed when there’s a full cooperation between the tattooist and the one tattooed. Normally, a cover-up has to be two to three times bigger than its original size and it has to be really opaque, saturated and dark in order to cover the tattoo that’s under. If you want to keep the same style as the original tattoo, there’s always a way to revamp it and give it a new look!

It’s important to understand that:


1- The cover-up will be 2 to 3 times bigger and it will be darker than the original tattoo.

2- Each artist has his own way of doing a cover-up. It is possible that our vision doesn’t correspond to yours. That’s why it’s very important to research your artist accordingly to their style of tattooing.  

3- There are multiple constraints while doing a cover-up, not everything is possible and there is a possibility that your idea cannot work.

4- Skulls, crows, anything dark can cover your tattoo, but maybe you don’t want such ideas. You therefore need to do some research to find out what ideas you would like. 

5- We do not do cover-ups with mandalas, pale and delicate flowers nor realism. 


Our cover-up procedure:


1- Do your researches on cover-ups! Google Image has multiple examples to show you ideas. In store, we will not tell you what you should get tattooed as we do not know what you like. You need to know what ideas would please you for your cover-up.

2- Send us a picture of your actual tattoo and send us pictures of what you would like to cover it with. We will tell you if one of our artists can meet you to discuss about the project.

3- Come to meet the artist for a consultation. The artist will check your ideas and verify that your project is doable. It is always possible for the artist to refuse the project if he thinks that the result will not be best.  

4- Be open minded, and let the artist create a cover-up accordingly to his style. This element is key to having a beautiful cover-up. If you have too many restrictions, the artist has nothing to play around with. KEEP IN MIND: Any cover-up is possible if you allow your artist 100% artistic freedom.

The tattoo to cover is too big and too dark?


It is possible that the tattoo artist judges that the piece to cover-up is too big and too dark. In that case, you can consider laser tattoo removal to make your tattoo paler. Laser tattoo removal desaturate the colors in order to make it easier for the tattooist to do the new project.

Tattoo removal works with laser waves of different intensities to "burn" the pigment in the skin. Therefore, there will be a form of healing process to go through, after which you’ll be able to come back to the studio to book another consultation with the artist and discuss the new possibilities now that your tattoo is less opaque. Please note that we do not offer laser tattoo removal, we always refer our customers to a dermatology clinic or a professional parlor that offers this service.

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Coverup 5

Cover a scar?


Many customers want to get tattooed directly on a scar in order to hide it completely. However, it is not always doable. We’d suggest you to pass by the studio to see the scar’s condition. We will be able to advise you whether you can consider a tattoo to cover it or whether it would be better to tattoo around it. By placing a well-designed image around a scar, it will make it less "flashy". A cover-up is always made in order to bring focus elsewhere than on what you want to hide.