Are Watercolor Tattoos More Painful?

Are Watercolor Tattoos More Painful?

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Are Watercolor Tattoos More Painful?

Waterproof tattoos, otherwise known as henna tattoos, are temporary tattoos.

Unlike regular tattoos, which are permanent and can’t get removed without expensive laser treatments, waterproof tattoos wash off with soap and water. 

No! Watercolor tattoos are not more painful than any other tattoos. They are just more uncomfortable because the watercolor oozes from a different color, and it’s wetter. Yes, people can say that it’s painful because they don’t like the feeling of wet paint on their skin.

Watercolor tattoos have been popping up everywhere in the past few years. Their unique, watery look makes them a hit among old and young men and women!

The artist can create a beautiful watercolor tattoo that is truly one of a kind.

Whether you want to replicate an image or get something completely custom, the sky is the limit with watercolor tattoos.

When considering getting a watercolor tattoo, people face the fear of pain. People think that it must hurt more because it’s wet paint, but that is not true at all.

The only way that pain increases are if you don’t allow the tattoo to completely dry. If you are okay with the wetness, you will have no issue with the pain.

Do Watercolor Tattoos Take Longer?

Yes! Watercolor tattoos take longer than black and grey tattoos because they require more steps.

You’ll need to allow the tattoo artist to paint more time, wait for it to dry before adding another layer, and cover the area with a stencil.

It’s not a bad thing, though! Watercolor tattoos are gorgeous and often look as if they were painted on your skin by some painter master of olden times.

This makes the tattoo much more unique to you, which is probably reason enough to get one in watercolor.

Another reason is that watercolor tattoos can often be placed on your body with less pain than other types of tattoos because there is no heavy shading.

This means you can get a beautiful, unique tattoo without feeling like you’re in pain for weeks.

If you’re still not sure if you want a watercolor tattoo, these are some of the reasons you should get one:

They give your skin a unique and natural look that only adds to who you are instead of changing it.

You can get a watercolor tattoo anywhere on your body, even if you’re not sure what you want to look like years down the road.

It’s less likely to scar than other types of tattoos.

Watercolor tattoos are not only beautiful, but they can also make you stand out from the crowd.

Doing something creative and unique is always a good idea since you want people to remember your tattoo when you leave them behind in the future.

Do Watercolor Tattoos Fade Easily?

Yes! Watercolor tattoos fade easily compared to other tattoos.

Watercolor tattoos do not last as long, but some people want a tattoo that gets a lot of attention and lasts for a little while.

They are also suitable for people with sensitive skin. You can purchase the colors needed to get watercolor tattoos from most art stores so you can start making them at home.

If you want to make them professionally, check with your local tattoo artist about their experience with watercolors. 

Some people have reported that their watercolor tattoos didn’t last long at all. The colors faded with just one wash, and their tattoo left a lot of blank space in the design.

This is because the person didn’t get an outstanding artist.

Authentic, watercolor tattoos fade fast, but some artists can make them last a little longer and not fade as much, so you don’t end up with blank spaces.

They boast consideration to be more of an art form than a tattoo. They might last a week or two, but no longer than that.

Watercolors are not tattooed on your body but painted using a needle and ink. 

Blank spaces can fill in other colors like black or gray to make the tattoo appear complete. 

Taking Care Of A Watercolor Tattoo?

You can take care of a watercolor tattoo using an ice cube, cold saltwater solution, or soap. Alternatively, you can rub alcohol to clean it.

If the tattoo boasts, the position can’t be submerged and dried off; use a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the ink from the skin.

Next, take anti-bacterial wipes to sanitize your hands before applying hand sanitizer or hand cream.

Care for a Watercolor Tattoo

1. Keep it Clean!

Although watercolor tattoos are pretty, they will become smudged and dirty-looking if you don’t take the time to clean them.

An excellent way to prevent that is to use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol (mild rubbing alcohol) or tap water, which will help wash away any pesky ink that may have accidentally gotten left in the tattoo. 

Watercolor tattoos are very light and can rub off onto clothing. Use a little bit of hand cream or lotion to make it more difficult for your watercolor tattoo to rub off.

2. Avoid the Sun and Chlorine

The sun is known to fade any tattoo color, but it’s most damaging on watercolor tattoos because of the lack of depth.

It can wash out the tattoo quickly and may cause damage to your skin if it’s not taken care of properly. 

3. Use a Cold Saltwater Solution

To help your watercolor tattoo heal faster and give it a nice, relaxed feeling, you can make yourself a cold saltwater solution or purchase one.

You need one percent of sea salt for the solution. After a bath, apply the cold saltwater solution to your watercolor tattoo.

It will help keep it clean and help with any swelling while healing.

4. Soak it in Warm, Salted Water

If your tattoo boasts a location in a location that requires warm water, try soaking it in a friendly saltwater solution.

This will help to draw out any blood clots and help reduce swelling. Apply the cold saltwater solution on the calf or thigh for 2 hours every 2 – 4 days.

5. Use Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can help remove the pigment from your tattoo. Both are flammable, so don’t use a lighter and ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area.

Apply the rubbing alcohol with a Q-tip to the areas that need cleaning.

You may want to use both warm water and cold saltwater because it’s more effective than one or the other by itself.

What Tattoo Color Fades The Most?

Light colors fade most efficiently, so I recommend using black to cover or using colors that will hold their saturation for a long time.

If your goal is to have your tattoo last as long as possible, dark colors are the way to go. Black is always my first recommendation because it’s easy to apply and lasts.

Dark pigments are closer to your original skin tone and, therefore, won’t fade as much over time.

Black ink is always going to be the best option. It’s black, it’s permanent, and it’s easy to apply. That said, black ink is not always an option if you want a particular colored tattoo.

If that’s the case, then my second recommendation is red inks. Red ink will fade slower than other colors because it is a dark pigment and closer to your natural skin color.

Dark pigments will fade slower because the color is closer to your original skin tone.

Tattoo inks consist of several different pigments, usually between three and five.

The blackest of these pigments is carbon black, a very dense pigment that’s going to last on your skin for a long time.

Chrome oxide green is a bright green that’s second-lasting and unfading, so you’ll find it in greens and blues as well.

Do Colored Tattoos Cost More?

Yes! Colored tattoos cost more than black tattoos because they take more time, and the pigment is more expensive.

Murals of color are also much cheaper because they need less ink and last longer.

If you want a colored tattoo, you should also go with a picture, as it will be cheaper to get it done than to have someone design it for you.

Ink is also a factor in tattoo pricing, depending on the color of the ink and where it gets placed. Tattoo prices also rely on their size.

If you want your first tattoo to be minor, you shouldn’t pay more than $ 50.

If you want one that’s larger than that, you should expect to pay around $ 150.

Lastly, if you’re planning on getting a full sleeve or leg piece too, expect to spend between $ 400 to $ 1000 for the whole thing.

The old saying “you get what you pay for” is valid for tattoos. This is because the more you play, the better the tattoo.

Why Are Watercolor Tattoos A Bad Idea? 

Watercolor tattoos are a terrible idea because they are often not as permanent as they seem.

They are susceptible to smudging and fading, which is why people use them on wedding cakes and other temporary decorations.

If you insist on a vibrant watercolor tattoo, it’s best to use it in a less prominent place where the colors won’t appear so clearly.

If you know your body will be exposed to water or sweating, invest in an ink that is waterproof and holds up better through perspiration.

Watercolor tattoos are also easily removed by simply applying baby oil to the skin.

This is why watercolor tattoos were often used in the past to punish an adulterous wife by marking her face and neck before she got cast out of her husband’s home.

Lastly, watercolor tattoos get easily copied since they do not require needles or a digital machine.

This is why you need to ensure that the person who is about to tattoo you get licensed for the purpose.

The public can often be very reluctant to pay a professional cost to copy a watercolor tattoo.

How Well Do Watercolor Tattoos Age?

Watercolor tattoos can last a lifetime, but they might suffer from less vibrant colors if not cared for properly.

To have your colorful ink last as long as possible, you need to care for it properly.

This means following the recommended tattoo aftercare treatment so that your tattoos can stay safe and beautiful forever.

Watercolor tattoos are on the more delicate side of the ink family, but with proper care, your watercolor tattoos can last a lifetime.

When choosing your watercolor tattoo artist and getting their consultation, make sure they are familiar with appropriate watercolor tattoo care and have items you can use to clean your artwork at home.

Most of the time, watercolor tattoos fade to a softer white color around the edges.

The colors on nature’s canvas end up with a yellowish hue, and this is why it’s essential to keep your tattoos clean.

Cleaning your watercolor tattoos first thing in the morning and at night will allow them to retain their vibrant colors.

Use 1% hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or baby oil to cleanse the surface before washing your hand.

Hydrogen peroxide is the preferred choice, but it can damage the surrounding skin.

If you choose to use hydrogen peroxide, only use it on small areas of your tattoo at a time, and try not to get it on your sensitive skin.

Also, avoid using witch hazel or astringents because they can also be very damaging in the long run.

Taking Care Of A Watercolor Tattoo?

You can take care of a watercolor tattoo by following these steps:

* Before applying any water or cleanser, shake off excess pigment.

* When you want to clean a watercolor tattoo, use distilled/tasteless water or mild soap and rinse with tepid (not cold) water.

* Use lotion or A&D ointment to keep the tattoo moisturized. * Do not pick at the ink!

This can lead to scarring and uneven skin coloration in that area. * Do not expose the tattoo to sunlight for an extended period.

* Check the coloration of the tattoo after a few days, weeks, and months to make sure that the color hasn’t faded too much.

* Remember that a watercolor tattoo is a work in progress. Its appearance will change with time.   

Can You Use Cling Wrap On A Tattoo?

Yes! You can use cling wrap on a tattoo. Cling wrap is an excellent way to cover your tattoo because the plastic is breathable and will protect it from dirt or other things.

It’s also a perfect shield from water, which can affect your tattoos in unpredictable ways.

A word of caution, though – don’t use grocery store wrap because it has wax on the adhesive that could make it more difficult for your tattoo to heal.

Use cling wrap (typically used for food) instead, as this will not interfere with your tattoo’s healing process.

You want to use a generic brand of cling wrap. The brand you might be more familiar with is Saran Wrap, but the generic brands available in most grocery stores will work just as well.

Grocery store wrapping usually has sticky tape inside so you can apply pressure to the wrap, which isn’t needed on a tattoo and can tear your skin.

Here Are Two Ways To Apply It:

1) Use two strips at a time. Lay them one on top of another on your arm. Fold them over your arm and wrap the entire arm before peeling off.

You can also use one long strip and fold it over your arm.

2) Fold it into thirds and cut the fold marks so they’re not there when you use it on your tattoo.

Wrap around your arm and overlap the previous crease so you don’t get any folds once you’ve wrapped around to the other side of your arm.

But remember, a tattoo isn’t like a bandage.


Watercolor tattoos can be beautiful and mesmerizing. But they are not popular with everyone.

This art is a bit of a risk in the tattoo world because it’s new to the industry, and some people are afraid to try it.

But in my opinion, the chances are not any worse than other types of ink, and these small tattoos can be beautiful.

So if you’re unsure about your next tattoo, I highly recommend you give watercolor tattooing a try.

Whether you decide to have a vibrant rainbow or an understated landscape of trees and flowers, you can have a people-pleaser tattoo that’s unique and bold in its way.


I'm Vincent, a registered skincare specialist and an award-winning tattoo artist. I've been in the industry for over 10 years and have worked with some of the best tattoo artists in my field. I've loved everything to do with tattoos and arts in general, as well as exercise and wellness! This site is a place for me to share some of the expertise knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current research and studies. Tattoos are a huge passion of mine, I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. I decided to start a blog and help other people!

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