Tattoo Removal

Thigh Cover Up Tattoo Ideas

blog post alt tag
Published: 05.15.2023
Updated: 07.11.2024
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Marcus Smurda, DPT

Styles change, but tattoos don’t – at least not without some intervention on your part.

Thighs are a popular body part to get tattooed. The area offers a great vertical canvas for beautiful pieces. But if you roll your eyes every time you see your legs, it might be time to consider a thigh tattoo cover-up.

Before walking into a tattoo shop and scheduling a session to hide your old artwork, there are several steps you can take to ensure you will like your new tattoo. Odds are, if you’re searching for a cover-up tattoo artist, you aren’t pleased with the decisions you made the first time around. Take this second chance as an opportunity to get it right and have a piece of artwork that you genuinely enjoy.

Factors to Consider Before Getting a Thigh Cover-up Tattoo

Thigh cover-up tattoos are tricky. Not every tattooist offers cover-up services. In fact, cover-up tattooing is considered a specialized skill. Understanding how ink is tattooed into the skin is the key to covering old tattoos with new ink.

Tattoo ink is injected into the second layer of skin called the dermis, where large particles of ink stay trapped. This method is what makes tattoos permanent. However, it is also what makes covering up tattoos extremely difficult.

Getting a cover-up tattoo is basically putting a tattoo over a tattoo. A fresh layer of ink does not make the old artwork magically disappear. Those original ink molecules are still encapsulated in the skin; without using laser removal services, they will stay there forever. Excellent tattoo cover-up artists use this to their advantage by incorporating old ink into a new design. Professional cover-up tattoo artists consider several factors before finalizing a design:

  • Coloring
  • Size and placement
  • Condition of skin and healing


Tattoo Colors

Dark-colored ink and heavy lines are the most challenging elements to cover up in a tattoo. The artist must incorporate every dark section of your old tattoo into the new piece. This expert cohesion of new and old art is what makes a successful camouflage. A cover-up tattoo artist takes elements of a tattoo you hate and turns them into a beautiful new piece of art. This practice takes a lot of creativity and ingenuity.

Unfortunately, that also means it limits the options for cover-up designs. For example, if your current thigh tattoo is black and gray, a hot pink rose isn’t going to cover it up. Instead, the tattoo artist will tell you which colors and line work designs will best disguise your unwanted piece. While you may get a different color or image than what you were hoping for, it will undoubtedly be better than what you have now!

Size and Placement

Cover-up tattoos are typically larger than the original artwork. Usually, when you get a tattoo, you tell the artist how big you want it to be and where you want it placed on your body. With cover-up tattoos, the artist will tell you the ideal size the piece needs to be to camouflage what was already on your skin effectively. They will also advise on placement to create the best final result.

Condition of Skin

A tattoo artist will always assess the condition of your skin before starting on a piece of artwork. However, this step is even more critical when considering tattoo cover-ups.

If your skin is very thin or crepey, it will be difficult for the cover-up artist to incorporate the intricate details and depth of color necessary to hide your existing work. In addition, these skin conditions are more susceptible to blowouts that make precise lines challenging to achieve as the skin is not strong, thick, or elastic enough to hold ink. Darker skin tones are harder to perform cover-up tattoos on because of the limited range of ink colors the artist can use.

Finally, aftercare and the healing process of cover-up tattoos must be taken seriously. Improper cleaning, sun exposure, and abrasion harm any fresh tattoo. With a cover-up, the risks are even higher. Any damage done to the new ink puts the entire piece at risk. Allowing a cover-up tattoo to heal properly is the best way to keep your old tattoo hidden from sight.

Customization and Personalization

Don’t let the above mentioned factors dissuade you from getting a thigh cover up tattoo. While you don’t have the freedom to pick any subject for your new tattoo design, there are several ways to customize your new piece of artwork.

Go Bigger

Your cover-up tattoo has to be larger than the original piece of art. Take advantage of this bigger landscape by incorporating personalized elements into the design. Some examples that are commonly added to tattoo cover ups are symbols, quotes, and motifs. These elements are a great way to make your cover up tattoo personal despite design limitations the tattoo artist has to work with based on your old tattoo.

By adding a more extensive and detailed background, the focus will shift away from one particular area of the tattoo. Think about including complex elements independent of the original work so the artist has fresh skin to develop a design.

For example, if you have a word tattooed mid-thigh, consider a cover up design that hides the letters at the bottom of the new piece. Choose a vertical subject like a hot air balloon that speaks to your sense of whimsy and adventure. The intricate weaves in the basket can disguise the letters. The balloon with pristine details and coloring will be the focal point. Your eye will focus on the design’s upper part, making your original tattoo even less noticeable.

Choose a Style

Pick a tattoo style or broad genre of art that you would be happy having as a cover up piece. The more intricate the design, the better! Consider the subject matter with precision linework or complex shading. Look for inspiration in tattoos that feature dark black and heavy contrast. Popular thigh tattoo style ideas are:

  • Black and Gray Realism
  • Geometric or Tribal
  • American Traditional

Choosing a tattoo style for your cover up that speaks to your identity and preferences is important. After all, you don’t want to have to cover up a cover up! There are countless, creative tattoos that fall under these popular thigh tattoo ideas.

Black and Gray Realism

Flowers are an excellent choice for a realism tattoo. Floral designs look amazing in black and grey. Complex line work and shading can be added to petals, stems, and leaves to disguise your old tattoo. The best flowers for tattoo cover ups are:

  • Roses
  • Lotus
  • Ivy


Geometric or Tribal

Tribal tattoos are defined by intricate line work carefully composed to create a single subject. For example, tattoo artists can create unique portraits of animals using geometric principles. Popular animals done in a tribal or geometric tattoo style are:

  • Wolves
  • Elephants
  • Owls


American Traditional

American traditional tattoos feature stark black detailing and clean, simple lines. The dark points in these tattoos are ideal for disguising old or faded tattoos. Black ink is contrasted with vibrant tones of red and yellow to add a pop of visual interest. Most American traditional tattoos depict icon symbols like:

  • Panthers – symbolizes protection, courage, and strength
  • American Bald Eagle – represents freedom and strength
  • Roses – symbolize love and loyalty
  • Nautical Symbols (compass, ship wheel, boat, anchor) – represent a connection to the ocean and love of travel

In addition, American traditional tattoos are usually accompanied by a banner or phrase. This element is the perfect way to add a customized message to your cover up tattoo.

Tattoo Fading Before Cover Up

Professional tattoo cover up artists have specialized techniques to hide old tattoos. However, if your original tattoo has heavy sections of black ink, it may not be possible to disguise it completely.

Black ink tattoos last the longest because the ink molecules are very big. As a result, they remain trapped in the dermis layer of the skin unless the molecules are broken down into smaller particles that can pass through your blood. Laser tattoo removal is the only effective way to do this.

Most people associate laser treatments with large tattoo removals. However, this procedure is commonly used as a pretreatment for cover ups. It is best to consult with a laser tattoo specialist like the team at Removery. Our professional technicians will advise how many sessions will be required to fade your old tattoo.

Taking this extra step in your tattoo cover up journey benefits you and the tattoo artist designing your new piece. By fading a tattoo, your skin becomes a cleaner canvas, and as a result, there will be fewer limitations regarding your cover up piece’s size, color, and overall design.

Fading old tattoos will also shorten the time and detail work necessary to cover them up, making it idea for rib, hip, or chest cover-ups where tattoos can be the most painful.

Removery Can Assist with Your Dream Cover Up

Thigh tattoos are beautiful, sexy, and flattering. Vertical artwork lengthens and slims the leg, turning your skin into a gorgeous canvas. But tastes and styles evolve. The sheathed dagger that looked dangerous and cool in your early twenties might not give the same air of mystery when sitting on the sideline of your kid’s soccer game.

If you love the aesthetic of tattooed thighs, but hate the one you chose a decade ago, give Removery a call. Our expert staff provides honest removal consultations at no cost, and our leading laser tattoo removal specialists guide clients through the process of fading old tattoos in preparation for new ink. Tattoo fading by laser removal is the first step to getting the thigh tattoo cover up of your dreams! Don’t wait – the faster you schedule an appointment with Removery, the quicker you say goodbye to unwanted ink!

Let's get started

  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Get your free estimate

We’re on a mission to give you the most straightforward, easy and efficient laser tattoo removal experience. Your estimate will be entirely bespoke to your tattoo; the size, the colours, the ink. It won’t take long and afterwards you’ll have a plan to finally get rid of your unwanted tattoo and get back to being you.

Get Your Free Estimate

Find your nearest Removery

With over 150 studios you're sure to find one near you. We look forward to seeing you!