Tattoo Removal

How to Find the Perfect Tattoo Redo Artists for You

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Published: 09.26.2023
Updated: 11.01.2023

Do you have a tattoo you are unhappy with, and you want to get it fixed? Whether you are considering a simple refresh of faded linework or a major chest tattoo cover up, finding the right artist for the job can be daunting. 


Following these tips will help narrow the search for a tattoo redo artist. 

Will a Tattoo Artist Rework a Tattoo?

Myth: Tattoo artists won’t work on a piece another tattooist started.


It is a massive misconception in the tattoo community that the artist who started or completed the artwork has artistic rights over a tattoo. As the person who received the tattoo, you have complete control over how it is completed or reworked. 


For some reason, clients feel a sense of guilt or disloyalty when they bring a partially completed or disfigured piece to another shop for a consultation. But the truth is you are the one that wears the tattoo every day. It’s your right to have it look exactly how you want it. So feel free to request a redo or second session from a different tattoo artist than the one you initially contracted to work with. 


In addition, many people assume it’s rude or unprofessional to ask an artist to finish someone else’s design. This belief is entirely false. 


Artists become tattooists out of passion and creativity, but it’s also to make money. So if you are dissatisfied with how your original tattoo design came out, you won’t have a problem getting a new artist to rework it. While it may cost as much or more to redo the tattoo than it was to get inked initially, the tradeoff is a tattoo you can be proud of. 


It is very common for a tattoo artist to finish another artist’s work. Sometimes this decision comes down to practicality. For example, the original artist might be overbooked or realize that the concept you envision is something they feel uncomfortable completing. However, it’s common for clients to bring an existing tattoo to another artist due to dissatisfaction or poor execution by the original shop. 


Understanding Tattoo Redo Terminologies

So what do you say at the tattoo shop to book the correct appointment? Here is the breakdown of the differences between a tattoo redo vs. rework vs. cover-up.

Tattoo Redo

Do you have a tattoo that you love, but it’s lost its luster? Over time it is natural for tattoos to fade. But the good news is that you bring that tattoo back to life!


When you schedule a tattoo to be redone, this usually applies to faded or illegible work. A new artist will use the original tattoo as a guideline and basically tattoo over the existing linework. This method will deepen colors, improve contrast, and sharpen lines. Think of it like getting your tattoo refreshed or touched up. The goal of a tattoo redo appointment is to leave with the same design, just sharper and brighter than when you stepped into the shop.


Tattoo rework

Sometimes tattoos come out just “okay.” It might not be beautiful, but it isn’t hideous, either. It can be challenging to communicate exactly what you are looking for to a tattoo artist. Even the best tattooists can miss the mark. But if you still love the style and subject of the tattoo, there is hope! Get it fixed by letting a new tattoo artist rework it.


When you schedule a tattoo to be reworked, the project is slightly more extensive than a redo. The new artist will use the existing piece as Inspiration. Then they will add new elements or colors to create a new version of that initial design. A reworked tattoo can include new colors, additional components, or a change in the primary subject matter. It is important to note that a tattoo rework appointment is not the same as a cover-up and will not result in a brand-new tattoo. This process puts a new twist on the tattoo you already have.


Tattoo Cover Up

Hindsight is 20/20. Do you have a tattoo that makes you ask, “What the hell was I thinking?” Stop torturing yourself with a daily reminder of the past! You can erase that embarrassing tattoo with laser removal technology and creative cover-up artists!


Covering up a tattoo is specialized artistry. When you schedule a tattoo cover-up appointment, you are requesting the tattoo artist to create a brand new tattoo over the old one. While this sounds simple, it is a highly complex process and one that only some tattoo artists will agree to do. 


It takes years of apprenticeship and experience to get a cover-up tattoo right. Top artists will use science, color theory, and creative designs to camouflage the old tattoo with the new one. As a result, the old tattoo will be entirely invisible at the end of the appointment.


Several factors affect how well a cover-up tattoo will hide old ink. Sometimes, artists advise you to fade your old tattoo before getting new work done. Laser tattoo removal is the only method that fades tattoos quickly without damaging the skin.  


While the words “rework,” “redo,” and “cover-up” may seem similar, they have distinct differences when it comes to tattoos. Therefore, understanding the proper terminology is essential to book the right appointment with the right artist. 


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Researching Potential Tattoo Redo Artists

Tattoo artists build their client base by falling into niche artist categories. As a result, each tattooist has different specialties, and some may not book appointments for redos. However, there are several ways to research the best tattoo artists to get your old ink refreshed.


Online Portfolios

A tattoo artist’s work is their business card. Reputable and skilled tattooists will have extensive portfolios on their social media pages and websites. Look for before and after comparisons of tattoos they have redone. Evaluate the work and rate the transformation. If you have any hesitations based on the portfolio or don’t see work similar to what you want to be done, continue your search. You shouldn’t settle, especially when it comes to tattoo artists!


Bottom line: If you find an artist that advertises tattoo redoes, but doesn’t have the portfolio to back up their claims, don’t schedule an appointment. Expert tattooists are proud of their work and want to show it off. And as always, follow your gut. If something feels off, it probably is!



Your best resource for information is friends and family. Call anyone in your inner circle that has stunning tattoos! They will be able to advise which shops to check out. And if that friend or family member gets tattooed frequently, they can also give you a list of artists to avoid! 


Tattoo Shop Reviews

Between Google, Yelp, and Facebook, it’s easy to find reviews on local businesses. Read through the feedback and ratings past clients have provided. Pay extra attention to comments that mention a reworked tattoo. That person’s experience is an excellent testament to what you can expect. 


While making impulsive decisions can be fun and invigorating, tattoos aren’t something to take a chance on. So don’t schedule an appointment to fix your bad tattoos on a whim. Instead, take the time and execute due diligence in researching top artists. 


Assessing Artists’ Specialties and Styles

Tattoo artists build their reputation by creating stunning tattoos within a specific style. They spend years making a name for themselves as a niche artist. As a result, many tattooists only work in a set style or specialty area. Research which tattoo style best fits your preferences to narrow your search for a tattoo redo artist. Popular tattoo categories are:

  • American Traditional
  • Photo Realism
  • Tribal/Geometric
  • Japanese
  • New School
  • Stick and Poke


In addition, tattoo artists can specialize in a set list of services. For example, some tattooists just work on tattoo cover ups and rarely take appointments for new tattoos. Comparatively, some artists prefer to work on fresh skin only and will decline requests to redo a tattoo. 


Scheduling Consultations With Potential Artists

Several factors determine the success of a tattoo redo. Artists may request a consultation before booking a session. This in-person meeting allows them to evaluate the following:

  • The design, coloring, and size of your tattoo
  • The condition of your skin
  • The amount of work required to get your desired result
  • If the style of art you want is within their skillset


The price of a tattoo redo depends on how much time the tattoo artist needs to complete the work. After the consultation, they will provide expectations of the final piece, an estimated number of sessions, and the approximate cost. Conversely, an artist may decline to do the tattoo if their style does not align with your request.


Clients can also choose to book a consult before setting up an appointment. This gives you an opportunity to meet the artist, ask pertinent questions, and check out the shop before committing to go under the needle.


Evaluating the Tattoo Studio Environment

You can tell a lot about a tattoo artist’s professionalism based on the tattoo studio’s conditions. Several factors make a positive tattoo environment.


Cleanliness: The shop should be free of dust with neatly swept floors. Dirty studios leave clients susceptible to bacteria and infection.


Licensing: Your tattoo artist should have a state-approved license in the shop. This certificate ensures they are properly trained on tattoo execution and client safety. You do not need a tattoo license to purchase tattoo equipment, so don’t assume a studio is legit just because they are taking appointments.


Hygiene Standards: Each tattoo station should have disinfectants, fresh paper towels, and packaged needles. To protect clients from disease and infection, the artist uses new supplies for each session and thoroughly cleans their station. The absence of these items is a red flag.


Client Vetting: The tattoo studio should require clients to fill out health forms and waivers. They will also ask for a copy of your ID. To maintain their tattoo license, artists must abide by specific state regulations. By requiring this information, it shows they take their profession seriously.


Making the Final Decision

While making impulsive decisions can be fun, tattoos aren’t something to take a chance on. So don’t schedule an appointment to fix your bad tattoos on a whim. Instead, take your time and execute due diligence in researching top artists. Whether you are looking for an old tattoo to be refreshed or completely covered up with new ink, finding a specialized artist is a must. 


Begin Your Tattoo Journey With Removery

Scheduling treatment sessions with Removery is the best first step in transforming an old tattoo. Their industry-leading lasers target ink molecules deep in the skin, reducing them to small particles that naturally flush through your system. As a result, with just a few short sessions, you can fade your old tattoo. 


Electing for laser tattoo removal before getting a tattoo cover up creates a cleaner canvas for the artist. In addition, the new ink will be more prominent and take less time to complete. 


In addition, Removery’s laser tattoo removal treatments are super precise and can eradicate even the smallest tattoos. This process gives tattoo redo artists more flexibility when working in tight areas like finger tattoo cover ups


So don’t wait! Schedule your consultation with a Removery technician to lay the groundwork for a successful tattoo redo.  


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Dr jamie Bastidas Dr. Jamie Bastidas Emergency Medicine

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