FAQ

unattendedchildrenFrequently Asked Questions at Sanctuary Tattoo

The BEST WAY to contact any of us about making a tattoo appointment is to CALL US at the studio 207-828-8866.

HOURS: TUES – SAT 11AM – 6PM(usually)

• visitors welcome anytime!

• tattoos mostly by appointment

Must be 18 or over with proof of age and legal photo ID — 48 hour cancelation required to retain your non-refundable deposit


  1. How do I care for my new tattoo? Follow this link for detailed before and after care instructions.
  2. How do I prepare for a custom tattoo? Follow this link for detailed suggestions for planning your tattoo art.
  3. Where are you located? We are at 31 Forest Ave in Portland Maine, here is a map with directions.
  4. Can I get a tattoo with Parental Consent if I am under 18? No, not in Maine! State law requires that you must be 18 or over with proof of age to get a tattoo.
  5. Do you do body piercing? No we do not.
  6. Does it hurt? Yes, and… Your mileage may vary, as each person is different. There are a number of factors that determine what your experience will be like: location on the body and attitude are two big ones. Some people find the experience quite uncomfortable, while others find it rather pleasureable. Most people land somewhere in the middle and find the experience to be mildly annoying. For many the initial outline is the most difficult part and after a little while it becomes easier. Eating a good meal beforehand, getting plenty of sleep the night before, and remembering to breathe all make the whole experience easier.
  7. What parts of the body hurt the most? Once again your mileage may vary. What hurts for one person can be a piece of cake for another. Remember it will be a relatively brief period of discomfort for a lifetime of having a tattoo exactly where you want it to be.
  8. I have an idea, but I can’t draw it, can you design my tattoo? Certainly! At Sanctuary we are highly skilled fine artists and we will be happy to discuss your ideas and make your ideas a reality. When you make an appointment to get tattooed here, we will consult with you to create a wearable piece of original artwork for you. We charge for actual tattoo time, custom drawing is free for our customers when they have appointments to get tattooed by us.
  9. Can you work with a design that I bring in? Absolutely! We are very flexible at Sanctuary and we will be happy to work with artwork that you bring in. Sometimes we may suggest adjustments so that your design will be more effective as a tattoo.
  10. I have a tattoo that I want to fix. What can you do for me? Cover-ups and re-touches are a big part of what we do, whether you simply want to spruce up an old favorite, or completely transform a tattoo you no longer want, we would be happy to discuss solutions with you.
  11. I live far away, if I paid you could you design my tattoo? Unfortunately we just don’t have the time to design tattoos for people we are not tattooing. If you are planning to visit Maine sometime in the future we would love to make an appointment with you for your tattoo. ALSO, each tattoo artist tends to draw designs for the way they tattoo, so it is usually best to let the custom artist who is giving you the tattoo design it for you. Any artist worth their price will be more than happy to design the tattoo that you want and should be able to find plenty of sources for to illustrate your ideas.We suggest that you seek out the best custom tattoo artist you can find in your region. (Seeing a good tattoo artist is worth the extra travel )
  12. Do you have designs I can use for my tattoo? What you see on our website are examples of one of a kind tattoos we have done for other people. Since we are a custom shop we do not have any flash available. Please check out our links page for some other sources of artwork.
  13. I am concerned about safety, do you use an autoclave and single use needles? Absolutely! Your health and safety is of the utmost concern to us. We practice universal precautions, and approach every tattoo with the same high level of care. Everything we use is either thoroughly scrubbed and steriled in an autoclave (that we test on a monthly basis) and/or disposable. We always use disposable ink caps and new autoclaved needles which are removed from a sealed pouch just prior to your tattoo. PLEASE NOTE: It might also help to remember that while a customer might get tattooed serveral times a year, we work with mulitple customers nearly every day of the year, therefore it serves us greatly to be meticulous in our approach to tattooing not only for our customers, but for health and safety of ourselves as well as our beloved friends and families.
  14. I am coming from out of town can you suggest a place to stay? Sanctuary Tattoo is conviently located in downtown Portland. We are close to many hotels and bed and breakfasts. We are directly across the street from the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel.
  15. Can you use metalic ink? There is no such thing as metalic ink, however we can create a tattoo that is shaded and colored to simulate a metalic surface. Metalic objects, look shiny because they reflect light off of a surface, tattoo pigment is seen through the layers of your skin, therefore your skin will mask the reflective quality of metal.
  16. I have a tan why does my tattoo look dull? I have a dark complection will a white tattoo show in my skin? Assuming you have been using your sunblock religiously and your tattoo is not simply faded from over exposure to the sun… All tattoo pigment is seen through layers of healed skin. While fair skin reveals colors clearly, darker skin forms a filter that tattoo pigment must be seen through. Pastels and white pigments can be seen better in fairer skin. Deeper richer colors are a better choice because they are more visible in darker skin.
  17. How do I choose a tattoo artist? Nowadays with the internet it has become much easier to find good tattoo artists. Any good artist will be happy to show you examples of their work, and discuss your ideas. Custom tattoo artists develop their own visual style, so as you look through each artist’s portfolio consider your tattoo ideas and which style fits you and your personality the best.
  18. How much would you charge for a (fill in the details) tattoo? There are so many variables that it is nearly impossible to give a price estimate via email. If you would like to get tattooed by one of us, please call the studio 207-828-8866 and speak to the artist you wish to make an appointment with. Do you require a deposit?
  19. A $50 – $100 deposit (which goes towards the final cost of your tattoo) is necessary to reserve an appointment. We can not hold a time slot for you until we receive a deposit. It is our shop policy that all deposits are nonrefundable. We require 48 hour notice to retain deposit for rescheduling,  It is the artist’s discretion if he/she chooses to make any exceptions.
  20. Is it customary to tip Tattoo artists? Tips are never expected, and always appreciated. We strive to provide quality service for all of our customers, we love expressions of gratitude in any form.
  21. I collect tattoo business cards, how can I get some of yours? A lot of people all over the world love to collect tattoo business cards and memorabilia, if you’d like us to send you our cards and sanctuary schwag, please just send a stamped self-addressed envelope to us here at the studio, and we’ll send you back some goodies.
  22. I am interested in becoming a tattoo artist, do you offer aprenticeships? In a word NO.