Is it Rude to Ask for a Tattoo Touch Up?

Over time, beauty fades… including your tattoos. That means you’ll need a touch up on the tats after so many years. 

But, is it rude to ask for a tattoo touch up? Read on and find out the answer below!

Is it Rude to Ask for a Tattoo Touch Up?

Asking for a tattoo touch up is perfectly respectable, and most tattoo artists more than expect it. In fact, they are wanting your business, so they often offer free touch-ups on their work, to begin with. 

Tattoo artists know that if they keep your artwork looking its best that you are likely to get more work done (through them).

How Rude Is it?


Asking for a tattoo touch up rates 1 out of 10 on the rude meter. Tattoo artists know that their work is going to fade over time (even if they are the best tattoo artist in the world, ink is ink – and it fades). 

The only time a tattoo artist is even remotely likely to be offended by you asking them for a touch up on a piece of their work is when it has just been completed and they feel that an excellent job was done and no further work is necessary at the time.

Why is it Not Rude?

It is not rude to ask for a touch up on your tattoo after a certain amount of time has passed because the ink is naturally going to fade. Tattoo artists know this, you know this, and there is nothing rude about the fact.

The question is whether or not your tattoo artist has offered you free touch-ups or if you will need to find a new artist to do the touch-ups (and how much money it will cost to have the work done).

Other Options to Do Instead

Instead of asking your tattoo artist for a touch up on their work, there are a few other options to consider doing:

  • Get a new tattoo (from the same artist) and then casually ask for a bit of work on the old tattoo
  • Find a different artist and pay them to do the work as you desire (so the original artist doesn’t have their feelings hurt)
  • Buy a tattoo gun, practice on your little brother (or cellmate), and then do the inking yourself

Common Questions

Do all tattoos need touch up work after a while?

Every tattoo is liable to need some touching up after a while. Some tattoos last decades before they need major touching up, and others need a bit of touching up months or years after getting inked onto your skin.

How rude is asking a tattoo artist to fix something?

There is nothing rude about asking for a touch up for your tattoo. The way you word it, however, could be seen as rude if you aren’t careful. When dealing with an artist, it is better to ask them for a “touch up” than to “fix” your tattoo.

Should I ask the same artist for touch up work?

It is completely up to you whether you go to a new artist or the original artist to do the touch up work on your tattoo. Just keep in mind that if you plan on having the original artist do any future tattoos for you, they are liable to notice someone else has worked on their tattoo and you will need to answer for it.