Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Altering an ATG, Part One

Hi, everyone! This week I'll be re-posting some of my early blog entries related to my commonly used products and altering an ATG. I get many questions about these items, so I thought I'd repost this for you. This blog post was originally posted on May 6, 2009.

In today's post I'm going to address what supplies you will need to decorate your ATG and make it pretty! uch as I love my ATG, I am willing to admit that the darn thing is ugly.

This past Mother's Day I gave my mom a 3M ATG 700 as a gift. She is a scrapbooker and was complaining about the high cost of adhesive refills and how quickly they run out -- I'm sure we all know how that feels! So I decided to get her one of the guns, and before I gave it to her, I altered it to make it just her style. I took some pics throughout the process so you could see the gun coming together.

The first step in altering your ATG is to gather your supplies.
Believe me, this is not a project you want to stop halfway through to go find something you need. Spray paint dries fast & it doesn't give you much time to run around like the proverbial chicken. I know this because when I altered my ATG, I sprayed Krylon Fusion on my engagement ring and had to rush around like a madwoman trying to find something to clean it off before it bonded to the diamond permanently. This is all because I forgot to bring baby wipes. Good preparation is the key to a smooth ATG alteration.

You will definitely need the following supplies:
1. Scotch ATG 700 or 714 by 3M. The ATG comes in two sizes, and the size refers to the adhesive width, not the size of the gun. The 700 fits 1/2" and 3/4" width adhesive out of the box, and 1/4" width adhesive with an adapter (sold separately). The 714 fits 1/4" width adhesive only.

2. Spray Paint. The ATG is made of plastic and plastic doesn't do so well with spray paint, unfortunately. You will either need to use a can of Krylon Fusion, which is specially formulated for plastic, but, sadly, does not come in very many colors OR you will need to spray your ATG with a plastic primer first and then use any can of spray paint you like. For my mom's ATG, I used Krylon Fusion as a primer because I had plenty leftover from when I altered my own ATG. After letting the Krylon Fusion dry, I painted it a lovely shade of watermelon pink.

3. Painter's Tape. The ATG has a few surfaces that you may not want covered in paint. We will use good old blue painter's tape to ensure that the spray paint goes only where we want it.

4. Phillips head screwdriver. We will need to remove a few pieces of the ATG to get the best paint coverage possible, so make sure you have a screwdriver handy.

5. Newspaper/Posterboard/cardboard box. Many spray paints are toxic, so it's important to complete the painting portion of this project in a well-ventilated area. I worked outside. To keep my asphalt paint-free, I worked on a piece of posterboard.

6. Baby Wipes. It's good to have these or some other form of personal cleansing cloths on hand if you need to correct a mistake or clean something. Spray paint usually dries pretty fast, so you don't have much time before it becomes permanent. Also, don't wear jewelry while altering your ATG. You have been warned.

The following supplies are optional:
7. Krylon Glitter paint. My mom LOVES BLING, so after I finished applying the paint and letting it dry, I sprayed the whole thing with some silver glitter paint. The paint also contains a fixative, which hs helped the paint job hold up to plenty of handling without rubbing off or making a mess.

8. Rub-ons. I used American Crafts rub ons to dress up the ATG a little bit.

9. Bling. Remember that my mom LOVES BLING, so just glitter was not enough! I also used some Heidi Swapp bling to decorate the ATG & really made it shine!

10. Other embellishments. I used epoxy stickers on my ATG. If you're going to be using some embellishments like that, you can't rely on their adhesive to keep them stuck to your ATG. You will need to attach them with a heavy duty adhesive like E-6000.

The second step is to prepare your ATG for paint.
For this step you'll need your ATG, screwdriver and painter's tape handy. We'll be removing some small pieces from inside the ATG to get good paint coverage, as well as covering parts of the exterior with painter's tape to protect it from the spray.

1. Remove black wheels from inside ATG. Using your screwdriver, loosen the screws holding the black plastic wheels which hold the tape and remove them. We'll be painting the interior of the ATG, too, and we don't want to get paint gummed up in the actual dispenser mechanism.

2. Cover applicator tip with painter's tape. It is easier to cover the applicator tip than it is to remove it altogether. I know this because I've tried to take it apart & discovered that the applicator tip is also attached to one of the gears inside the ATG & is, therefore, impossible to remove without a great deal of pain and agony. So, while you're taping off areas you want untouched, make sure to include this part as well. I forgot to take a picture before I started painting, but you can see how I used tape to cover the applicator tip.

3. Cover trigger with painter's tape. I've seen the triggers painted on other ATGs, but I am concerned about doing anything to the ATG that might impair functionality down the road, so I left my trigger unpainted.

3. Cover clear lid with painter's tape. This step is optional and all about personal preference. I didn't want the lid to be painted because I like to be able to see how much tape I have left without opening the lid. I only painted a small portion of the lid -- everything but the black strip that reads "Scotch ATG 700" was be covered with tape on mine. If you want the lid of your ATG to be painted as well, then omit this step.

4. Take your ATG to a well-ventilated area. Take your ATG and your posterboard or newspaper to a well-ventilated area. It is best to work outside on a day that is not too breezy. If the day is breezy, make sure you have somehow anchored your posterboard or newspaper so that it doesn't blow away. Also, make sure you are standing upwind from the spray paint.

You are now ready to get painting. Check back tomorrow for "Altering an ATG, Part Two" for the rest of the instructions!

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.


  1. Hmmm?? As I said yesterday, my ATG is the red one. I was OK with the color, but now I am rethinking this. LOL Maybe, after tomorrows post, I will completely change my mind. LOL

    1. I probably wouldn't have gone to all the trouble of painting the gun if if had been red. That yellow is just SO industrial looking, I couldn't stand it!

  2. Great tips! But now I want to see a picture of her blinged ATG...get the camera, lol! Ella aka cmella04

  3. I am loving your "reruns"! Only problem is I have NO more room for new stuff. If you come visit Maine, you can help me decide what to keep and what to throw, and then I can get some new stuff! (my husband will NOT build me an addition, so that is not an option unfortunately). Think about it....summer vacation in Maine....could be fun.....
    Linda myers