How to use Photoshop to remove Tattoos

Rating: 0 based on 0 Ratings
  By Julian
How to use Photoshop to remove Tattoos

Hi guys, today we’ll be learning how to remove Tattoos with Photoshop.

From time to time, I’ve been asked to do this by various clients because they have a formal photograph taken but their tattoos may be inappropriate for the photo, or they regret them completely and don’t have the money or time to get them physically removed and are now embarrassed of them which is a common problem with tattoos.Which is one reason I don’t have one, I would never be able to make up my mind on what to get.

Let’s get started.

So first you will have to begin by creating a new layer. You can do this by clicking on the drop down box in the layer panel at the top right hand corner, as shown below.


Now, click on the Spot Healing Brush Tool and click on content aware in the top menu.

Make sure to have your mode set to Normal, and also make sure to have the Sample all Layers checked.

Sample all Layers enables you to do all your edits non-destructively within the new layer.

Using a smaller sized brush, depending on your image, as shown below start to paint over areas with the tattoo on it.

Do this in small areas at a time. At first it wont look so great, but all you have to do is just paint over it again a few times until it starts to look okay. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to look perfect at this stage, it just has to look okay.

Just make sure that the tattoo ink is gone.

Now that’s done, create a new layer just as before and grab your brush tool, or press (B) for the shortcut.

Choose a soft brush.

Set the hardness to zero.

You can sample the colour of the skin by holding alt, this will activate the little eye dropper, then just click on the colour in the area you are going to paint over.

Use the bracket keys [ & ] on the keyboard to enlarge or shrink your brush to the size of the area that you have to paint over.

Change the brush’s flow to around 20%, as shown below, then just gently paint over the area in question.

This is where your Art skills come into play, you want to fill the areas as best you can. Don’t worry about it looking fake and Photoshop painted at this moment in time, we’ll be adding texture to this soon.

So as you can see from my image, I’ve gotten it to look (minus texture) ‘real’

Take your time and don’t be afraid to erase back and forth as you go along, making it look natural and smooth.

So now we’re on to the final piece of the puzzle, adding skin texture to the painted area.

Keep this in mind because it will work for any image that needs skin texture.

Create a new layer, then click on you rectangular marque selection tool (M) and make a selection around the area you want to texture.

Now click on Edit – Fill and choose 50% grey. Then, go to your layers panel and change your blend mode to overlay, as shown below.

This will make the 50% grey layer invisible.

To add the texture you’ll need to go to Filter – Noise – Add Noise.

Zoom in on the area of skin that you want to texture and try out for yourself some settings of noise, using the slider and other options, although uniform should be fine for it.

The next step is to add some Blur to it, so go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (1 pixel or so should be fine).

Go to Filter again – Stylize and Emboss

Using the sliders, adjust to a point that looks natural, adding and reducing the amount until you happy with your result.

Then, create a mask and paint back the areas that you need.

Next, using a black brush, paint on the outside of the arm to get rid of the texture where it is not needed.

So in summary

You use the Spot Healing brush to get rid of the tattoo, paint over the area using the skin tones below, then create the textures needed to make the skin look realistic.

Super easy and super effective.

Enjoy 🙂

Rating: 0 based on 0 Ratings
The following two tabs change content below.


Graduated from college in 2002 with a degree in Art & Design, I started exploring my way in Graphic Design and Professional Post Production. Full-time freelancer since 2011.

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet.

Sign me up for a weekly summary of the best articles published on the blog

Your email is safe with us. Pinky swear