Can a Tattoo Artist Fix a Crooked Line?

It is terribly frustrating and disappointing when you look at a tattoo and notice that a line or the lines of the design are crooked and not perfect. These works of art are expressions of your identity and you want the world to see them but when something is off about one of them you want to hide them in shame.

A lot of the crooked lines and flaws you might find in a tattoo are not permanent. Your tattoo artist or another tattoo artist can look at the design, and then make recommendations for things they can do to hide the flaw or make the tattoo better.

Most tattoo artists will make a correction to their own work at no charge if the design flaw was their fault. If you selected a design that you later decide you do not as it may still be changeable but you will likely have to pay for the changes.

How to Make a Crooked Tattoo Look Straight?

Touch-ups are the only way to erase a mistake and hide a flaw in tattoo work. To make sure that you are going to get a tattoo that is not going to require you to pay extra for touch-ups follow this advice:

  • Always use an experienced tattoo artist and check their work before you sit in the chair. Look at the pictures of the tattoos that the artist has previously done. Ask friends and co-workers who have used the artist to show you their ink. Be picky about who does the work because this is your body and your image.
  • Never go get a tattoo without taking the time to sit with the artist and discuss designs, charges, and anything else concerning the tattoo. If the artist is in too big of a rush to get through and get started on the next customer then they are more likely to make mistakes.
  • If the tattoo studio is not clean and tidy politely leave before the work begins. Dirty studios harbor more germs and they show you that the artist does not take their work environment seriously.
  • Always write out any name or word you are having tattooed on your body so the artist is clear about how you want it spelled. Some words have more than one way of being spelled so you want this to be clear to the artist before you begin.
  • Do not simply copy things like Chinese characters off of the internet because they are not always correct. Know for sure that the characters you are asking for spell what you want them to before you get them in ink.
  • Make sure you understand the artist’s views on fixing mistakes. Some artists will do no further work after you leave their shop and others will guarantee happiness even after the ink has healed. Understand this before you let the artist work.
  • Be sure you look at the stenciled design and like it before you let it be put on you. If there is anything about the stencil you do not like let the artist know. It is much easier to change a stencil than it is to change a tattoo.

What to Do About Flaws in a Tattoo?

The best way to address flaws, crooked lines, or things you do not like about your tattoo is to address them as soon as you can. You want the artist to know that you do not really like something about the tattoo but you want to express this to them without being confrontational or rude.

Rudeness and accusations will not get you anywhere. You must remain calm and explain what you do not like without insulting or accusing the artist.

Ways to address mistakes or flaws:

  • Watch the artist as they work. If you see something that is not looking exactly like you think it should point it out to the artist. The artist can explain that it will take some more work to complete the image you expect or they can make changes right then before they carry on.
  • When you see a mistake during the healing process go talk to the artist. Sometimes what you think is a crooked line or flaw will not look the same after it heals and sometimes the artist may have to schedule you to come back after you have healed to correct the problem. Just remember to be kind, be calm and do not raise your voice or threaten the artist.
  • Do not tell the artist you are satisfied if you are not. Be honest with them. They are artists not mind readers.

Watch a video on how to Fix your blown-out- crooked line tattoo with no laser.


If you really hate a tattoo that you have gotten it might be a good decision for you to speak to an experienced tattoo artist about doing a tattoo cover-up. The new tattoo might be larger, use different color inks or incorporate some of the old design into it. You need the advice of a professional about whether this will work to cover your problem area.

Cover-ups are normally faster and less painful than tattoo removals. Removing a tattoo can be a long-drawn-out process that takes several years, or if it is done surgically, it can be painful and leave horrific scars.

Final Thoughts

Open communication and honesty with your tattoo artist are the only ways to ensure great tattoos that you are going to love. Find an artist you are comfortable talking to and be sure and talk the design out before you schedule the appointment to get it transferred into an ink expression.

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