The Best Chest Tattoo Cover Up Ideas (2021)

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Published: 06.23.2021
Updated: 02.26.2024

Do you have a chest tattoo that you no longer love—but you still love tattoos? A chest tattoo cover up could be right for you. Many people opt for a coverup rather than complete tattoo removal because they still love the idea of having a tattoo in that particular spot.
A cover up tattoo is a design placed on top of an unwanted tattoo, rendering the older one invisible.

Here are just a few reasons why people often wish to get rid of an old chest tattoo:

  • The design looks aged, having faded considerably.
  • The imagery no longer resonates with them.
  • The tattoo includes a name of a former significant other.
  • The artwork isn’t high quality.

In many cases, employer policies about visible tattoos do not affect chest tattoos since they’re easy to cover with ordinary clothing. It’s often easy to show off a chest tattoo when you want people to see it and to hide it when you don’t. However, that may depend on how high on the chest a tattoo sits. If it extends close to the neck, covering it could limit a person to a narrower range of clothing options.

If you love the bold look of a chest tattoo but simply don’t love your existing body art, a cover up may provide the right solution for you. Let’s take a look at several exciting chest tattoo cover ups that Removery’s clients have chosen.

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Our Best Chest Tattoo Cover Up Ideas

Tattoo cover ups can give you a fresh start, as many clients have experienced. We’ve interviewed clients and artists from across the country to find the very best chest cover up tattoo ideas. We’re delighted to share some brilliant cover up pieces that we’re sure will provide creative inspiration for your own cover up journey.

Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea #1: A High Colored Potrait

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We’re enamored with this stunning traditional-style tattoo.

This vibrant chest piece cover up nicely hides an old tattoo commemorating a past relationship. This design features a death’s head hawk moth, whose name comes from the skull-like image on its thorax. What is the meaning behind this image? To some, the hawk moth symbolizes death, while others simply appreciate its eerie, edgy look.

We love the creative design of this chest piece, along with the gorgeous coloring. The symmetrical design lends a sense of balance. Created by artist Dan Belcher at Resolute Tattoo in Delmar, New York (just south of Albany), it artfully merges several images into a cohesive design. Done in the traditional style, it features bold linework and bright imagery within an image that doesn’t strive for realism. Needless to say, the client is ecstatic about the results.

We see countless clients who wish to remove chest tattoos that mention a former significant other’s name. We also see clients who are still with their significant other but now feel the old tattoo that they got at age 21 looks tacky. Tastes change over time, and sometimes, loving couples give each other the gift of tattoo removal!

Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea #2: A Stunning Butterfly

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This traditional chest tattoo features a whimsical butterfly and lighthouse design.

Traditional tattoos are not going out of style any time soon. This butterfly really makes a statement as it covers up the client’s old unwanted tattoos (a skeleton and a bird). The coverup butterfly has a much more cohesive and well-executed design than the two disjointed images shown below.

“It’s just a really aesthetically pleasing tattoo; it’s symmetrical; it’s really well done, and it has a lot of texture and depth to it, so it’s something that really does lend itself to covering something nicely,” says Kat Eckard, who handled laser removal for the old tattoos at our Richmond facility.

The client chose this traditional chest tattoo after consulting with an artist she’d worked with previously, Jason Talbot of Tantrum Tattoo in Petersburg, Virginia (just south of Richmond). You can find him on Instagram @jasontalbot or look up his studio @tantrumtattoo.

The old tattoos were extremely dark at first. “We lasered the client’s chest a few times just to lighten things up,” Kat says. “Black can only be covered by more black, so if you have something that’s really dark, it can be difficult to cover unless you are committed to something very heavy.” If you want more colors or more skin showing, breaking up the black ink through laser removal can prove highly effective.

Jason Talbot, the coverup artist, is a good friend of Kat’s who understands the process well, and the client already had a number of tattoos by him. The client communicated with him frequently about the progress of her laser removal treatments.

chest tattoo cover up #3

The client’s original tattoo didn’t have quite the same artistic merit as the cover up.

Lightening these two tattoos took eight treatments. This photo was taken before the final session, so by the end of the process, they had lightened a bit more. Their location on the chest may have helped speed up the process. Laser removal tends to flush out ink in the areas closest to the heart faster compared to spots like the top of the foot or the ankle.

Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea #3: Grayscale Flowers

chest tattoo cover up #4

As you can see from the photo, this client has an upper-body design encompassing the shoulders, chest, and neck. We actually like the original tattoo as well, but we can understand how personal tastes can shift from skulls to flowers over time, as was the case with this client. These grayscale flowers, done in the realistic style, elegantly curve over the shoulders to nearly join at the middle of the chest.

The client herself is a tattoo artist named Dale DeVille, who works at a shop called Underworld Tattoo in Salem, New Hampshire. She came to our Burlington, Massachusetts location since it’s near Salem.

Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea #4: A Smaller Accent Piece

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As the new tattoo of the crow shows, cover up tattoos for men don’t have to be giant pieces that cover the whole chest. Accent pieces can be very flattering as well. This men’s chest tattoo nicely covers up an old name tattoo celebrating a past relationship with the client’s ex.

Created by tattoo artist Kyle Strom, it features realistic feather work with a lot of dimension. Though it’s a more modestly sized tattoo than the other tattoos shown here, the strong detail makes it a very compelling piece.

As with the other coverup tattoos shown above, the technician performing laser removal primarily used the 1064 wavelength for this one. That wavelength breaks up black pigment effectively and is safe to use on all skin types. It draws out any residual darkness in colored ink as well. “Pulling that black out of those colors first makes the additional wavelengths more effective because they can see those colors more clearly,” says Kat.

Chest Tattoo Cover Up Idea #5: A Masterpiece with Negative Space

chest tattoo cover up #6

We adore this black and gray tattoo by Fernie Andrade.

This large chest tattoo design extends over the shoulders and blends nicely with the tattoo on the client’s right arm. Created by artist Fernie Andrade of Skin Design Tattoo in Las Vegas, it uses negative space to make the grayscale design pop. The sense of movement created by the flowing lines makes this realistic piece truly captivating. Similar to tribal tattoos, it includes a lot of thick black areas but with a completely different approach!

Choosing the Best Chest Tattoo Cover Up for You

As these examples show, chest cover up tattoos come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. There’s no “best tattoo” that we could recommend—instead, there is a range of possibilities.
Covering up an old chest tattoo takes skill, so find a reputable artist whose style you love. Whether you want a full upper body design or a smaller chest piece, choosing the right artist will make all the difference.

You may be wondering about tattoo removal cost for chest tattoos as well. On average, companies charge $10 to $25 per square inch for each laser removal session, or $175 for a four-square-inch tattoo.

Choosing body art that you love can give you a new level of comfort in your own skin. Our technicians can’t wait to be part of that journey if you decide to move forward. “It’s really exciting to kind of give people their body back in a way,” Kat says. “Being able to do that for somebody is a huge reward.”

Ready to get started with chest tattoo removal? Book a consultation with one of our experienced tattoo removal and cover up specialists!


Dr Kevin Shomaker Dr. Kevin Schomacker VP Medical Research

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