Tattoo Recoloring: Can You Change the Color Of An Existing Tattoo

Having a colorful tattoo can be a double edged experience. First of all, colorful tattoos usually look exceptional. they are more vibrant and lively than the usual black and white tattoos, and bring the tattoo design to life and stand out.

However, as time passes and your tattoo ages, some colors may change in hue or fade. It may seem like the perfect time to get a tattoo touch-up. But what if you want to completely change the color scheme of the tattoo? Can you just choose another color for your existing tattoo, or is that just too much to expect?

Well, if you’re wondering if this is possible, you’ve come to the right place. In the following paragraphs we will look at the possibility of recoloring a tattoo and what your options are. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Tattoo Recolor Options

First; let’s address the issue in the title of the article. Can the color of an existing tattoo be changed? Yes, you surely can. But, there is a catch in how it can be done, and there aren’t many options for your tattoo artists to use. Here’s what you can expect from the recolor process;

mix colors

Tattoo recoloration is possible in case you want to change the color scheme of your tattoo, but there is a catch. In order for this to work best, your tattoo artist will need to mix the existing color with a new one to form a new ink color.

But this cannot be done with just any ink color; there must be some logic in this process. For example, if your tattoo contains yellow ink, the tattoo artist may add a little red ink to make your tattoo appear orange.

Now the tattoo artist has to be smart in mixing colors. They can’t just stick one color on top of another and call it a day. Instead, they should look like one color is fading and the other is fading. This way the blend will look natural and the blending of the color will not ruin the tattoo.

However, if your tattoo is already covered in darker colors, this process will be next to impossible. The tattoo artist cannot remove the dark color and replace it with another one. And, by adding another color on top, they can make the tattoo even darker. Thus, this process is only possible with lighter colored tattoos or tattoos that have faded in color significantly.

Also Read: Can You Mix Tattoo Ink Colors? Everything You Need To Know About Mixing And Blending Tattoo Ink

Completely change the color

Now, if you want to completely change the color of the tattoo, you might run into some issues. As mentioned, you cannot remove the color from the tattoo; the only way to get rid of the color is to get laser tattoo removal, and we don’t recommend this mainly because you can’t tattoo the same area, and the laser will get rid of everything, not just the color.

So the only option here is to cover the tattoo with another color. But the only way to do this is for your tattoo artist to use a darker ink color and consistently cover the entire tattoo. At this point, you can only hope that the existing color will adapt to it and now develop an ugly brown shade.

Now, this process is completely impossible with purple tattoos. Even if you add darker ink over the purple color, you will end up with a dark, uncolored tattoo.

In addition, the tattoo artist must be logical about the choice of color. If you want to cover a yellow tattoo with light blue ink, you’ll end up with a mess. No tattoo artist will do that in the first place.

So, for this to work, the new color should be in the same range of shades as the existing color, to make the transition as natural as possible. For example, light colored tattoos can be recolored by adding a darker shade of the same color. Imagine you have a light blue tattoo; you can completely change the color with only dark blue so that the colors blend properly and perfectly.

Things to Consider Before Tattoo Recoloration

Let’s just say that recoloring a tattoo is a huge step to take since you can’t really go back. Also, there is always a risk that the color may not blend or mix well, so you should take this risk into account before making the final decision. However, aside from the obvious risks, there are other things you should consider before recoloring your tattoo;

The choice of colors

  • Make sure to opt for colors that are in the same range of shades as your existing tattoo color.

By doing this, your tattoo artist will ensure good color mixing or fading between the two colors. If you want to go with a completely different range or color scheme, your tattoo artist will have a hard time getting the color right without ending up with a dark brown mess. In such cases, you can expect the majority of tattoo artists to shy away from recoloring.

The shade of color

  • Make sure to always choose the same color as the existing tattoo, but in a darker shade.

This way, the tattoo artist will get a seamless blend and transition between the existing color and the new one. For example, if your tattoo contains a light green color, the tattoo artist should use a darker green to cover it up and change the tone and shade of the tattoo.

The tattoo artist

  • Always go for a professional and experienced tattoo artist who specializes in mixing and blending colors.

Some tattoo artists are color experts, which makes them perfect for the tattoo recoloring task. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t fully understand the relationship between colors and how each color works with each other on the skin. So before choosing the first tattoo artist that comes to mind, be sure to do your research and find someone who is an expert in color and has actually recolored tattoos in their career.

The design and size of the tattoo

  • Ask yourself if your tattoo can be recolored. If it is an intricate design or a smaller size, chances are that recoloring the tattoo will be much more difficult to achieve.

This is because it will take hours for your tattoo artist to mix the colors and package them properly. Intricate and intricate tattoo designs make this process much more difficult, and if the color doesn’t set properly, it can destroy the flow of the design, or even its lines and shape. A professional tattoo artist will immediately share this information with you and let you know if your tattoo is a suitable candidate for tattoo recoloration.

Tattoo Recoloration FAQs

Can the color of a tattoo be removed?

As you know, tattoos are permanent body art and as such, it is impossible to remove or remove the color from the tattoo. If you want to change your tattoo by removing color, let’s say right away that this is an impossible task.

However, as the color of the tattoo fades, you can always resort to laser tattoo removal. This is your only option to get rid of the color, but also the whole tattoo. Also, since the laser only recognizes darker ink, it can be quite difficult to remove lighter ink colors, such as yellow, white, light blue, green or red, etc.

Of course, it is possible to remove lighter colors, but you will have more laser removal sessions, which will significantly increase the cost of this process.

Can a tattoo artist turn a colored tattoo into a black and gray tattoo?

Generally speaking, specialist tattoo artists can try to turn the lighter shades of ink in your tattoo into white or gray ink. Black ink cannot be colored, it is simply impossible. Even the attempt to turn a color tattoo into black and gray is something most tattoo artists will refuse to do.

The only thing a tattoo artist can really do, if a tattoo is smaller and not too colorful, is to cover some parts in black ink. No color can be simply removed from the tattoo, so that’s about it.

Some tattoo artists may try covering the color with white ink, but this may not work, as the color underneath may still show through, especially if the color is really saturated. To make the white ink visible, the tattoo artist will have to push the needle several times in one place, which will also cause a lot of pain.

When can I recolor my tattoo?

If you don’t like the way your colored tattoo heals and you think another color scheme would work better, you’ll need to be patient. You cannot touch up or do anything with a tattoo until it is completely healed. This process can take up to six months. Even after your tattoo has healed, you still have to wait a few weeks to be completely sure.

Can a tattoo artist cover a tattoo with flesh-colored ink?

Let’s say right away that it is impossible to cover a tattoo with skin-colored ink. This is because the ink is placed in the dermis of the skin, which is the inner layer of the skin. Also, since skin is lighter than ink, flesh-colored ink will not be able to mask pre-existing ink and it will still be visible. So if you don’t want your tattoo to exist, the only thing you can do is have it lasered off.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s about it when it comes to recoloring a tattoo. Unless you want to darken the tattoo a bit or get some fading and blending, there is not much you can do to completely change the color of the tattoo. Just make sure to always work with experts and professionals when going for a tattoo touch up or any type of color change.

Otherwise, you could be dealing with a mess later, which means you would need a laser removal session. And it will cost and hurt too much in the long run, more than a professional tattoo artist would.

For more information, be sure to talk to your tattoo artist, or even visit a dermatologist just to check your skin condition. Check out our other articles for more information on tattoo fading, ink colors, and tattooing in general.

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