Cover ups, laser removal and options on changing a tattoos appearance.

It happens to the best of us, that "awesome" idea for a tattoo that ends up actually not being the greatest idea, and now you're sick of looking at it. So we come to the tattoo crossroads; the old tattoo has got to go- but how?

While tattoo removal is often a really good place to start and will open up your options as to what you can do over the tattoo, it can also be extremely painful, require multiple sessions and is costly.

If laser removal is not a route you want to take, there are other options to changing up your tattoo. This post is meant to share with you what we can do to help so that you go home with a piece of art on your body that you can be proud of.

Cover-up in progress by Justina Kervel

Cover-up in progress by Justina Kervel

First, how does laser tattoo removal work? 

Tattoo removal lasers work by producing short pulses of intense light that pass through the top layers of the skin. This laser causes the tattoo pigment to fragment into smaller particles that are then removed by the body's immune system.

The type of laser used in tattoo removal depends on the tattoo's pigment colors. Yellow and green ink are the hardest colors to remove but darker inks like blue and black are the easiest. Eventually the tattoo fades, but it can take months, likely many sessions, and may end up being very costly. Many of our artists have had some of their tattoos removed and they can help share with you their personal experience.

And now the cover up

The general rule of thumb is that tattoos that need to be covered up must be covered with a design about 3 times their original size if no laser removal is done. Sometimes only a couple removal sessions are required to lighten up your existing tattoo and we can work with what you’ve got to expand your options for what could go over your existing piece. If no laser is done then the options may be limited, including what colours will cover, and how big the new piece will need to be.

Depending on what is required to create a cover-up, and what kind of art you like, will determine which artist is suitable to cover your old tattoo. If you send us an email and attach a photo to the email of your existing tattoo and a description with any reference images of things you like, we can help guide you toward the right plan of action.

The easiest ways of avoiding a cover up is to make sure you've taken plenty of time to think about what you are getting, and that you extensively research on which artists you will trust to mark you permanently. It sounds quite redundant, but the reality is that sometimes in the excitement of the event we forget to think about the reality of tattoos. They will (theoretically) last forever and their meaning and your connection to this tattoo can change. Always take time to think about what it is you want tattooed, but keep in mind, all of the artists at Liquid Amber Tattoo do custom designs and if you like their art (as you should if you are getting tattooed by them) then you should save room for their artistic eye and opinion. They can help you with an idea that will look great and make the old one look like it never even existed!

Here are a couple of examples of coverups done at LAT: