Can a black tattoo be lighten to grey with white ink?

I recently got a tattoo and I wanted some grey shading, but the artist did it in black. Can they use white ink over it and lighten the black to a more greyish color? Will it require more than one session? Around how many sessions?

5 thoughts on “Can a black tattoo be lighten to grey with white ink?

  1. That depends on a few things… skin tone, how thick the melanin in your skin is, how dark the shading is, how much you wish to lighten the grey… The outcome can also depend on whether or not the artist you pick is skilled at working with white ink effectively. There are a lot of artists out there who have very little faith in the effects of white ink and dont’ even want to bother. Personally, I’ve had decent results with this method and its’ helped me quite a bit when doing cover-ups of older work. The white may need up to three sessions to really make a difference and that area may never be as light as you hoped…

    Your best bet? See an artist in your area and ask them. Even with a photo, it’s not really accurate on the internet.

  2. No – think of it like coloring with crayon. Simply trying to cover black with white will not make it grey. It’ll just have blotches of white here and there, no matter how well you try to cover it.

    When a tattoo is first healing though, you can’t really tell the exact color that the tattoo will end up. After the first month or so, you’ll be able to see how much the greywash (that initially starts out looking black) “fades” (it’s actually not fading, it’s healing). After that, you might be happy with the way it turns out.

  3. I had a tattoo done and I love it except there were a couple of places that were to dark for my liking and they were able to put a white/flesh into it and then I had them put a bit of purple and grey into it. I would let it set for a while, they tend to fade a bit as well! Good luck!

  4. White will change the appearance of your tattoo but will not look like gray shading. The reason gray shading looks so nice is that it is very transparent in some areas and more dense in others which creates depth to the tattoo.

    Skin that has had gray shading when initially tattooed will actually appear brownish looking because of the redness of the skin showing through in those areas.

    I would have to see the piece to make any sort of judgment calls on anticipated results and time factors.

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