Cover Up Tattoos

For over 20 years now, Jeremy Garrett has been specializing in cover up tattooing. Everybody makes mistakes and sometimes even the best plans can lead to unfortunate results. In tattooing a bad tattoo can be demoralizing and frustrating to say the least. Locating a tattooist who can and will do a proper cover up tattoo is just as challenging. If, however, you live in the Seattle or the Eastside area, Garrett is your man.

Many are familiar with the various reality tattoo shows and you may have even seen some of them that focus on fixing tattoo nightmares. They make it look easy. Someone with a horrid tattoo walks in to the shop and they get a cover up tattoo on the spot. It looks great, they show before and after photos, everybody's pleased and the show ends. What they don't show is what the cover up looks like after it's had a chance to fully healed. Often times the original tattoo ends up showing through once they've healed. This is very typical of most cover up tattoos.

You've probably seen cover up tattoos, first hand, where you can easily identify the old tattoo showing through the new version. So many cover up tattoos end up looking like obvious cover up attempts. Most tattooists don't like to do cover up work, even if they offer the service. It's not the same as starting with a clean canvas and they are difficult to do. The tattooists that do, generally, try to black out the old tattoo with a very dark new design overlay.

So, why do cover up tattoos look like attempted cover ups? The reason is simple, most cover ups cannot and should not be expected to be completed in only one setting. I will explain why but first you should be familiar with the technical aspects of tattooing. If you're not familiar with the tattooing process, here is a link Garrett's NYARTMAN website describing the tattooing process with visual illustrations. In a nutshell here's how it works: A tattoo is accomplished when pigment is inserted into the second layer of skin after going through the first layer of skin. The tattoo becomes permanent after the first layer heals, sealing in the pigments below it.

Generally, all new tattoos look their best during the first couple of days. The reason is because both the first and second layer of skin have been freshly tattooed and the ink in the first layer of skin makes the fresh tattoo look almost as though it had been airbrushed on. Everybody who has a been tattooed knows that eventually, even with the best of care, the first layer of skin sloughs off and regenerates itself. When this happens the ink that was in that first layer goes with it. After the healing process is finished all tattoos will look slightly less bright than they did during the first day or two after getting inked. Furthermore, everyone has some amount of natural pigment or melanin and it is found in the first layer of skin. Depending on how much melanin you have, this also will affect the brightness and the way the colors of a tattoo looks.

When a tattooist slaps a dark design over an old tattoo hoping to hide the old tattoo underneath, here's what happens: The original tattoo is also getting new ink shot into it and because of this after it heals it will be slightly darker than the rest of the new design. Understanding this makes it clear why so many cover up tattoos look like attempted cover ups, especially, when they are done in only one sitting. You're left with a very dark cover up design with the old design now even darker popping out.

Garrett enjoys the challenge of cover up work and approaches them differently. For him, doing a cover up is a bit like solving a puzzle. He creates a new design that will work with and camouflage the old tattoo. Instead of stamping a dark image on top of the old tattoo, he painstakingly matches and blends the new inks into the old design. Multiple tattoo sessions are normally required to ensure the hues and shades of the new tattoo blend with and dominate the old tattoo. In the end you will be left with a one of a kind 100% custom tattoo that will not look like an attempted cover up tattoo even after it is fully healed. Check out the cover up tattoos Garrett has done in the Cover Up section of the Tattoo Gallery. Almost all of the examples of Garrett's cover up work were photographed after they were fully healed. See the difference for yourself and see if you can spot the old tattoos... it won't be easy. Don't make a bad mistake worse by trusting your cover up project to an inferior tattoo artist. If you are suffering with an old tattoo that you can't stand, contact Jeremy Garrett, Washington's Premier Cover Up Tattoo Artist for an appointment today. You'll be glad you did.