Covering up an old or unwanted tattoo can be tricky. Depending on the size of the tattoo, as well as the colors involved, the process is one which needs to examined by a professional. It also depends on what you want to do. Do you want to go from a color tattoo to a black and grey piece? Or do you want to cover up an intricate design? All these factors determine the ease (and the price of a cover up), and you also want to make sure the artist has experience doing cover ups. If they say they can do it, but don’t have any samples to show you then it’s up to you to take the gamble.


Las Vegas tattoo artist, Andy Pho, happens to be a cover up specialist and he’s been doing so for years. Here’s a few examples of his work and remember…it’s a tedious process which needs to treated as such. Sometimes they may even suggest using laser tattoo removal to lighten the colors, so it’s in your best interest to seek professional consultation.

Free consultations are available at Skin Design so please feel free to drop us a line to set up an appointment or drop on by.


About Skin Design: 

Though modern in looks, Skin Design stands upon the foundation of old school values and we believe in loyalty and respect. In addition to respecting our culture and our lifestyle, we blend our traditional principles with modern safety standards and all of our artists hold all of the necessary licenses backed with a vast knowledge, experience and expertise in custom ink work, piercing, as well as laser tattoo removal and after care. Our customers demand the best and we chose to stand by that standard by creating a facility that is upheld with the highest standards when it comes to art work, tattoos, sterility and professionalism. We don’t just provide award-winning ink – we provide an experience which should be as memorable and permanent as the artwork you’re looking to get.

Our studio is located on the Southwest corner of Spring Mountain Road and Valley View in Las Vegas, Nevada’s Chinatown District. Also, if you plan to visit us be sure to arrive with appetitive as we are centrally located in Chinatown and walking distance to our shop are some of the best Asian restaurants in the area.


Tattoos have long memorialized loved ones, mentors and idols, and in this case, one Charles Bronson fan showed his allegiance to the famed actor by getting a tattoo of him decades ago. Since then, he wanted the smaller piece revamped and brought back to life so he came to Skin Design where he had a cover up tattoo done

To start the process, the Bronson fan went through a few laser treatments to fade the tattoo. Once healed, he shot back to our studio to get an updated piece of art done by artist Robert Pho. The new ink definitely does justice for a man who literally created a cult following, and introduced the “vigilante” genre to movies. Mr. Bronson was the man who empowered us all to stand up against crime, and those of you old enough to remember the “Death Wish” series know all to well that he single handedly created the vigilante role long before any of today’s reincarnations.

He was an icon of his time and till today remains a legend. He was the first member of his family to graduate from high school and when his father passed at just 10 years old, he was off to the coal mines where he earned he earned one dollar for each ton of coal that he mined. He worked in the mine until he entered military service during World War II. His family was so poor that, at one time, he reportedly had to wear his sister’s dress to school because of his lack of clothing.


Cover up tattoo |  Charles Bronson tattoo

Before & After.

But the vigilante character he played wasn’t out of character for Bronson. A former soldier, Bronson enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in 1943 and served as an aerial gunner in the 760th Flexible Gunnery Training Squadron, and in 1945 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress crewman with the 39th Bombardment Group based on Guam.  Bronson flew 25 missions and received a Purple Heart for wounds received in battle.


If you’re living with a less than desirable tattoo, then you already know the pain associated with being the unlucky recipient. For many, it simply becomes a reminder to make better choices the next time around, and for others it becomes a mark they can’t bear to look at.

So what are your options? Well you’ve got a few. If you’re just done with ink and want to bare as a newborn, you can always opt for laser tattoo removal, but if you’re looking to reup your old piece then you can always find an artist who can do a cover up tattoo. This is done by having the artist design a tattoo around the older piece in order to cover it up.  Of course you give them the style of the tattoo you’d like, and then they’ll create a design which will merge seamlessly into – and over – the existing work. So does it really work? Keep you reading and let your eyes be the judge.


Cover up tattoo by Andy Pho - Las Vegas

Cover up tattoo by Andy Pho – Las Vegas

After the cover up. Can you see where the original tattoo was on his chest?

For this client here, he opted for the second option and after searching around town he wound up going to our resident artist Andy Pho. Andy then designed a custom piece and the end results are stunning. It takes a while for even the most well-trained eye to figure out that this was a cover up and to be honest, most couldn’t tell at all – even if they were to examine it for a few minutes. Needless to say, this is a great example of what can be achieved if you find the right artist.

Before the cover up tattoo by Andy Pho - Las Vegas

Before the cover up tattoo by Andy Pho – Las Vegas

Here’s the original tattoo.

If you’re interested in more details about cover up tattoos, be sure to do your homework and look for a qualified artist that you’re comfortable with because making the same mistake twice would be disastrous. Also, cover ups are an art in itself so be sure to check out the portfolio of any artist your interested in. In specific you’ll want to see some before and after work of any of his or her cover up tattoo work. The bottom line, life’s too short to have a shitty tattoo so stick to your intuition, shop around, and if you feel like you’ve found the right artist…then get ready to leave that old piece behind.


Much like tattoos, the removal of one is equally an art. You have to be familiar with the machine, make sure that it’s properly calibrated, all the while understanding how it works in relation to the colors in the piece you are trying to remove. It is important to remember that different inks, and ink colors in your piece, respond differently to laser treatment. This is where our experience in tattoo removal comes into play. Since we’re one of the leading purveyors of inked art in Vegas, we understand the application of ink, whereas “laser removal only” facilities, know just the basic principles – there is a big difference.

The premiere laser tattoo removal system in Las Vegas!

The premiere laser tattoo removal system in Las Vegas!

At Skin Design, we pride ourselves in being the best when it comes to tattoo removal in Las Vegas. Located just a few miles from the Strip, our state of the art facility is housed within one of the leading ink parlors in the area. With years of extensive experience, and a friendly staff, Skin Design is your one stop shop that is here to educate you about the process of this procedure.

Part of our process for removal includes:

– Educating the customer about the procedure. Each client is provided with an estimate as to how many sessions it should take to completely remove a specific piece.

– We also provide follow ups and create a schedule of treatments based on skin color, tattoo color as well as the recovery speed of each patient.

Feel free to stop on by or give us a call when you’re ready to refresh your canvas. The use of lasers for unwanted pieces has been the most effective way of removing them. Regardless if you want to remove a mistake, erase the memories of a drunken nights decision, or simply want to make more room on your canvas, please feel free to drop on by with any questions and we’ll gladly help!


3963 Spring Mountain Road, Las Vegas, NV 89102