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24 Tattoo Cover-Up Before And Afters That Prove Ink Isn't Always Permanent

Here's some serious proof that you should think before you ink.

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1. "My first tattoo was a good lesson in getting what you pay for."

BugOperator /

"Ten years later, I found a capable artist to blast over it with this gorgeous koi. I can now wear shorts again without feeling like everyone is literally laughing at me behind my back." BugOperator

2. "I got the Celtic symbol for friendship on my inner arm with a very good friend of mine. Long story short, we're no longer friends."

megans21 /

"The cover is by Josh Fallon at Big Top Tattoo in Utica, Michigan. He’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier!" – megans21


4. "People don't believe me until I show them the before and after!"

elizabethi47b899697 /

"Huge thanks to Javier Eastman at Causality Tattoo in Norwalk, Connectituct – I can't believe the improvement even almost four years later!" elizabethi47b899697


9. "When your tattoo artist tells you not to get a boyfriend's name on you, you should listen."

emmar45c02312b /

"This is actually my third cover up. On the left, if you look, you can see 'Chris' in the feather (upside down). I covered that up with a peacock feather. After a few years I decided to cover that up as well, and am totally in love." – emmar45c02312b

10. "As you can see, I have much better taste now."

kelliw47ce7c9be /

"The original tattoo got bleached out when I worked at a pool store the summer after high school. The awesome cover-up was done by Tim Strating at Anthem Tattoo in Gainsville, Florida." kelliw47ce7c9be


13. "I realised once I saw the initial tattoo finished that the artist had redrawn what I brought in into a bird with a boob head."

lieslh /

"I christened it Titty Bird and lived with it for about a year. It took seven removal sessions and three tattoo sessions to get it covered (with one more to come for touch-ups and shading). So worth it." – lieslh

14. "My ex-girlfriend convinced me to get it and it was a horrible mistake."

courtneyk4e77ac2a4 /

"The old tattoo was the Gemini and Scorpio symbols. I decided to get it covered up with a half sleeve so I never have to see it again for the rest of my life." – courtneyk4e77ac2a4


15. "I got this dreadful haunted house and found out afterwards the artist had been using other people’s tattoos and passing them off as his own."

evelynhk /

"The original stencil looked so good, but he obviously couldn’t do the actual tattooing work. I wore long sleeves for a good two years before finding an amazing artist that was willing to and capable of covering it up, and I’m still as in love with it now as I was on the day I got it." – evelynhk

16. "I got my initials as a teenager and soon regretted it!"

dayap /

"It took me over 10 years to find an amazing tattoo artist who agreed to cover up the monstrosity. Needless to say the shop where I got my initials done has since been shut down…" – dayap


19. "The original was my first tattoo ever."

oliviap4c4fc2637 /

"It was based on a painting I had done that was way, way better than what the artist scribbled into my skin. I got it redone a few years later by an artist I had worked with on another tattoo." – oliviap4c4fc2637


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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