FindTape.com Blog

Adhesive tape news, issues and commentary posted by FindTape.com staff.

How to Choose the Right ATG Refill Tape for Your ATG Gun

ATG dispensers are popular among scrapbookers, crafters, photographers, and event producers. They make it easy to apply pressure-sensitive adhesive tape known as ATG tape. This tape comes unsupported by a backing or carrier (like cloth, film, or paper), and is pre-applied to a special release liner. It is reverse wound, with the release liner being located on the underside when you unwind it from the roll. If you were to apply this tape manually to your project, it could be very messy. An ATG dispenser makes it clean and simple to apply.

But there are four primary ATG dispensers to choose from. With several varieties of ATG refill rolls available, it can be confusing at first to determine which type fits in your ATG gun.

The key is in the design of the plastic core of the ATG refill roll. Some cores have wider openings than others. In the video below, I’ll show you the difference between the ATG refill rolls and explain how to match your ATG dispenser to the right ATG refill tape.

For greater detail, our handy matrix will help you determine which ATG refill tape best fits your ATG dispenser.

Picking the Right Painters Tape

Spring is the season of home improvement. And now that it's almost here, many people are considering ways to freshen up their homes and offices. One of the best ways to do this is to paint your walls.

Not only will this brighten your mood, but it's also a good investment – especially if you're planning to sell during the spring housing market. A freshly painted interior will help the house show better to prospective buyers.

Whether you plan to do-it-yourself or you're a longtime pro, you'll need to make some decisions about the type of painters tape to use. Your choice will depend upon the type of surface being painted, whether it's indoor or out, and any creative or artistic requirements.

Here's a quick primer to help you choose the right painters tape for your project. And don't forget to check for removal tips at the end of this post.

Why use painters tape and not other types of tape?

Unlike other types of masking tape, painters tape is specially designed for painting applications where clean removal is a requirement including in cases when the tape is exposed to direct UV light. It can be used on glass, vinyl, metal, wood, painted walls and trim.

There are several types of painters tape, and which one you choose depends upon the job you need it for.

Protect floors and furniture

As you prep your room for painting, you'll want to keep floors and furniture from getting hit by paint drops. You can drape your furniture with old bed sheets and cover floors with plastic sheets, but as you paint, these can shift, inadvertently exposing the edges of furniture or leaving spots on floors.

Duck Pre-Taped Painter's Drop ClothDuck Brand Pre-Taped Painter's Drop Cloth is ideal for protecting floors and counters while painting. This is a 2-mil thick plastic drop film that is pre-applied to a removable painters tape. The plastic film resists tears and punctures, and the removable cloth tape holds the film securely in place, so there's no slipping and sliding. It's designed to remove cleanly for up to 4 weeks.

Nashua CleanDrapeIf you already have drop film or cloth and just need a double-sided tape to apply it, Nashua's CleanDrape is a great choice. The adhesive cloth side of the tape holds up the film or dropcloth while the adhesive painters tape side goes up against your drywall. CleanDrape's blue painters tape side offers clean removal for up to 14 days from a variety of surfaces.

Create Crisp Lines

Once you've got floors and furniture protected, it's time to prep the baseboards, walls and ceilings. Painters tape can be used as a guide to keep lines straight and protect surfaces from getting spotted with the wrong color.

Shurtape CP 60Shurtape CP-60 Razor Edge tape is an ultra thin painters tape used to create razor sharp lines. Perfect for painting stripes, diamonds, and other patterns on walls. Its special paper backing reduces bleed-through and its low adhesion allows it to be easily removed after longer periods of time (for up to 60 days).

JVCC PGM-UVIf you're painting a newly constructed house or an addition, you will probably be painting drywall. JVCC PGM-UV Painter's Grade Masking Tape is a good choice because its peel adhesion does not increase with time, allowing for removal from a wide variety of surfaces without damage.

3M 20903M Scotch-Blue 2090 Painters Tape for multi-surfaces is a medium adhesion tape ideal for paint masking on multiple surfaces including painted walls and trim, woodwork, glass and metal. It can be removed cleanly without adhesive transfer or surface damage for up to 14 days, even in direct sunlight. The backing saturant is solvent and moisture resistant so it resists paint bleed-through, and the adhesive doesn't transfer when the tape is wet. However, this tape is not designed for use on wallpapers, unpainted wallboard, wood floors or poorly bonded surfaces.

Tips for Delicate Surfaces

Shurtape CP 28Delicate surfaces, such as wallpaper, freshly painted or unpainted wallboard and drywall, ceiling tiles, or masking for faux finishing, will require a lower adhesion tape. Shurtape CP-28 30-Day Purple Painters Tape, also known as 30 Day ShurRELEASE, can be applied to delicate surfaces for up to 30 days and then removed cleanly without causing surface damage.

Working with Other Special Surfaces

Frog Multi-SurfaceIf you're painting special surfaces, such as cured painted walls, unfinished wood and wood trim, glass, metal, and stone, choose a medium-adhesion tape like FrogTape's Multi-Surface Painters Tape. This tape removes cleanly from most surfaces for up to 21 days (7 days in direct sunlight). Its patented PaintBlock® Technology prevents latex paint from bleeding by forming a micro-barrier along the edges (it reacts with the water in latex paint). You get a fully sealed tape edge resulting in the sharpest paint lines possible.

Creating Wall Designs

Frog Shape TapePainters tape also can be used to create paint designs on walls, furniture and other surfaces. FrogTape Shape Tape Painters Tape comes in three pre-cut repeating patterns: Chevron, Scallop and Wave. Creative painters can use this tape to create horizontal, vertical, or diagonal designs.

Taping Textured Surfaces

Frog Textured SurfaceIt can be tricky to create sharp lines on textured surfaces such as heavy knockdown, light knockdown or orange peel, without bleeding. But FrogTape Textured Surface Painters Tape comes with a bottle of Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™, which forms a micro-barrier sealing the edges of the tape. As a result, paint doesn't bleed and you can create super sharp stripes, patterns, and designs on these types of textured surfaces.

Removal Tips

When all of the painting is done, it's time to remove the tape. Here are a few tricks to make sure it all comes off smoothly.

  1. Remove tape as soon as you are finished.
  2. Score the edge of the tape with a razor blade first.
  3. Pull the tape slowly and at a 90 degree angle.

If you're still uncertain about how to choose the right painters tape for your project, our Painters Tape comparison matrix will help you compare and choose based on a variety of criteria.

Adhesive Tape for Returns: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

It happens all the time: A customer orders a product. Your fulfillment team pulls and packages the item. Then they ship it to the customer, who receives the package, opens it and discovers that the item is defective or it's the wrong one.

Returns are a part of doing business, and with the holiday shopping season just around the corner the shipping season is about to ramp up into high gear. According to the Internet Retailer website, the top 500 online merchants report an annual return rate of 3 percent. When you consider that online sales raked in $289 billion for retailers in 2012, that's a lot of merchandise being shipped back and forth.

Your goal should be threefold:

  1. Minimize the public relations hit you take for shipping the wrong or defective product.
  2. Get your item back in one piece.
  3. Make the return-shipping process as easy as possible on the customer and your team.

And it all comes down to adhesive tape. Yes, adhesive tape for returns is the gift that keeps on giving.

Including adhesive tape for returns with the replacement item you send to your customer sends a message to your customer that you acknowledge the mistake and want to make the return process as easy for them as possible. It also makes it much more likely that your customer will ship the original item back in a timely manner; and that you'll get it back in one piece.

See? Everybody wins when you include adhesive tape for returns with your replacement items; especially when you send your customers JVCC RT150 Return Tape.

JVCC RT150 Return TapeFirst, JVCC RT150 Return Tape is pre-cut, meaning that all your fulfillment team needs to do is drop a few pieces of the tape in with every replacement item being shipped out. Second, it's been proven to be effective in securing boxes; including in industries such as pharmaceuticals and printer ink. Third, it's easy to use. Decker RT 150 has been designed with a center split paper release liner, making it incredibly easy to use. All three are not only a nice thing to do for your customers, but they are also make for really good public relations.

The holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Give your customers, and yourself and your company, the gift of JVCC RT150 Return Tape this year. You (and the roughly 3 percent of your customers who are likely to return products this year) will be glad you did.

Uses for Gaffers Tape

gaffers tapeGaffers tape, which is also referred to as gaffer tape, is a form of adhesive tape that has numerous uses. Gaffers tape can be purchased in rolls that come in varying lengths as well as widths. The traditional color of this tape is a matte black but you can find them in several other colors such as blue, white, burgundy, gray, fluorescent pink and so on.

Gaffers tape is quite similar to duct tape in the sense that it can be useful in an array of applications. However, unlike duct tape, this tape will not leave any adhesive residue when it is peeled off a surface plus it offers a matte finish.

So, what are some of the numerous uses of gaffers tape?

Mark Positions
A common use for gaffers tape is in positional marking. It is commonly used in the theater industry to mark positions on the surface of the floor that will indicate where props are supposed to go. It is often used in the theater and TV industries to mark actors' starting positions. What’s great about this tape is its durability. It won’t easily wear down due to foot traffic. In addition to marking starting positions, it can also be used to coordinate props since it comes in a wide variety of colors.

Manage Cables
Production studios, and convention halls also use gaffers tape to manage cables. Many cables in one area can prove to be a hazard as people could easily trip over them and have a nasty fall. With this tape the cables can be firmly affixed to the floor thus lowering the chances of any accidents happening. And when it is time to remove the cables and wires the tape will not leave them sticky like a duct tape would.

Bus Seat Repairs
Since this adhesive tape is a vinyl-coated cloth product it pairs nicely when covering tears and rips in vinyl seating like on buses. It comes in wide widths like 3 and 4 inches wide and in colors such as burgundy and dark green which works great for matching common bus seat colors and making repairs.

Book Binding
Gaffers tape is also widely used when binding books since its matte appearance is preferable to the shinny look you would get back with a duct tape. Its cloth backing also makes it very conformable so as to wrap nicely around a book binding. Typically a high tensile strength gaffers with good adhesion is used for book binding applications such as Shurtape Professional Grade (P-672) gaff.

Other Uses
Gaffer tape is not only used for positional marking in the theater industry, it can be used in plenty of other places. For example, it can be used to mark a hazard area, an incline, flights of stairs, and so on. FindTape.com sells gaffers tape in all its varieties.

Why Consider Athletic Tape?

athletic tapeThere are a great number of people who engage in sports. This is good considering that a passive lifestyle could lead to a large number of health problems. However, one thing that is associated with sports is injuries. At one point or another you will find that you will need athletic tape since you have sustained an injury or one of your loved ones is injured. So, what exactly is athletic tape and why should you consider it?

Athletic tape is a form of bandage that has adhesive qualities. As such, it can be used for a myriad of things. If you have sustained an injury on your wrist or your ankle, the athletic tape can be used to keep the joint in place. It would be pertinent to keep the joint immobile so as to ensure it heals well and in the shortest time possible. Usually, this is done by bandaging the joint with a regular bandage then covering it up with athletic tape, which will hold the bandage in place. However, this colored athletic tape is not only used for injuries.

For people who play sports that require the use of a bat or some other prop, the tape can also come in quite handy. By having this tape around your palms or on the handle of a baseball bat, you increase the amount of grip that you have thus ensuring you can play your sport better. This makes it great for hockey sticks and other sports bats too.

Athletic tape will come in a variety of types. Your choice of this colored athletic tape depend on a variety of things. For instance, what you plan on using it for, the type of support that you want, the levels of comfort that you are seeking as well as the amount of time that you plan on wearing it.

The main difference between athletic tape is whether it is stretchy or non-elastic.

Stretch tape: this tape is generally used to apply pressure to injuries like a compression bandage and to provide support. It is typically coated with a rubber based adhesive which sticks well to surfaces or only to itself if it is a co-adhesive tape. It also allows for flexibility and range of motion.

Non-elastic tape: this tape is used as a pre-wrap before a sports activity. It is made of cotton and as the name suggests, it is not stretchy and provides a more firm support.

No matter what type of athletic tape you decide to use, you can find it at FindTape.com.

What Tape Should I Use to Hold Insulation Film to Windows?

JVCC DC-4109RS Double Coated Film Tape The double-sided film tape we typically sell for adhering window insulation film to the interior of windows during the winter season is JVCC's DC-4109RS tape. If the film is heavier and you need a tape with a stronger adhesive then JVCC DC-4199CS would be another to look at. These would be the closest double-sided tapes our converter stocks which are similar to 3M's 2145C product for indoor insulator film mounting. As far as these tapes' removability you'd want to test them first on an inconspicuous part of the window frame to make sure it removes as desired. Please also remember the more adhesive the tape you go with the harder it will be to remove in the spring. Also both of these tapes are coated with an acrylic adhesive which provides moisture, UV and temperature resistance; however tapes with acrylic adhesive need a few minutes to an hour for the adhesive bond to set correctly when applying them. See our blog entry on general instructions on applying pressure-sensitive adhesive tape for more detailed instructions. Thank you.

 

Duck Brand Window Kit Replacement Tape
UPDATE: We also now carry Duck Brand Window Kit Replacement Tape if you are looking for shorter length rolls for both indoor or outdoor window film installations.

 

How to Fix a Reversed Release Liner on a Roll of Double-Sided Tape

Instructions for Regularly-Wound Tape:

We sometimes get calls from customers saying they may have a defective roll of double-sided tape since the release liner on their roll of tape is reversed and now the tape is on the top of the liner. The answer is that that effect will happen when the liner on a double-sided tape roll is removed from a roll without the tape coming off at the same time (if the tape was on the outside of the roll then it would have stuck to the lathe when it was originally cut or to the box it was shipped in for that matter). When the liner goes one revolution around the roll without tape coming off at the same time it will then seem like the roll is reverse wound. To correct the problem you just need to unwind the tape alone (make sure the liner stays in place while you are unwinding the tape) from the roll and go one full revolution around. Then just cut off the tape after that one revolution and the tape will now seem like it is wound the correct way again.

Instructions for ATG (Reverse Wound) Tape:

We sometimes get calls from customers saying their roll of ATG tape is wound backwards (either at the beginning of the roll or somewhere in the middle of the roll). That effect will happen when the initial leader on an ATG roll (the piece at the beginning of the roll which prevents the adhesive from sticking to the packaging the rolls are sent in) is aggressive so you have to be careful it doesn't take off the first layer of adhesive when it is removed from the roll. Also if the adhesive on an ATG roll sticks to a surface without the liner being wound up at the same you can see that effect. Basically when all the adhesive comes off one full revolution of a roll without the liner being wound up at the same time it will then seem like the roll is wound like a regular roll of double-sided tape instead of a reverse-wound ATG roll. Before you start the procedure below it sometimes helps if you use your finger to press firmly down on the width of the tape as you go one revolution around the roll which will help transfer the adhesive to the correct side. Then to correct the problem you just need to unwind the liner alone (make sure the adhesive stays in place while you are unwinding the liner) from the roll and go one revolution around. Then just cut off the liner after that one revolution and the tape will then seem like it is wound the correct way again.

How to Remove Adhesive Tape Residue From a Surface

3M 08987 Adhesive Cleaner We often receive emails from people who have removed tape which has been on a surface for a long period of time and they are now trying to get rid of some adhesive residue which was left behind on the surface. The first point to make is that removing adhesive from a surface should be done very carefully. One quick test would be to try using the adhesive side from another piece of tape like duct tape to pull it off. If that doesn't work you can try using solvents; however they should always be tested on an inconspicuous part of the surface first to see if they damage it. MEK and Toluene are the strongest two and can be found at hardware stores (since they are the strongest greater care needs to be taken when using them). The next two solvents would be acetone and alcohol or you can try looking for an adhesive remover/citrus cleaner such as Polyken 41 or 3M 08987 which we sell on the site or Goo Gone or WD-40. I hope this helps. Thank you.

How Do Tapes Show Up Under Blacklight?

We often get asked how do different fluorescent tapes how up under a blacklight (and what do non-fluorescent tapes look like) so we took some comparison photographs to see. Below are some photos of different rolls of yellow tape and how they showed up for us (these were taken in a light tent with a blue background with a Streamlight 51010 UV Flashlight used as the light source against the rolls):

Regular yellow duct tape (Shurtape PC-600)Regular yellow duct tape
(Shurtape PC-600)

 

Fluorescent yellow duct tape (Shurtape PC-619)Fluorescent yellow duct tape
(Shurtape PC-619)

 

Regular yellow gaffers tape (Polyken 510)Regular yellow gaffers tape
(Polyken 510)

 

Fluorescent yellow gaffers tape (Polyken 510-Neon)Fluorescent yellow gaffers tape
(Polyken 510-Neon)

 

*** Our personal observation is that the fluorescent gaffers definitely showed up the best (especially outside of the light tent), but we did get the PC-619 yellow duct tape to fluoresce also. Outside of the light tent the effect on the PC-619 (polyethylene-coated cloth duct) was not as dramatic as it was on the 510-Neon (vinyl-coated cloth gaffers) though.

What is an adhesive tape converter?

We're only a retailer, but we work closely with different tape converters who supply us with the products we sell on the FindTape.com web site. We often get asked what exactly does an adhesive tape converter do? Basically a tape converter uses various processes to modify adhesive tape products that they get from tape manufacturers. These processes include slitting, rewinding, die-cutting, printing, laminating, etc. They convert (change) master rolls of tape (similar to large rolls of carpet or newsprint in size) to usable sizes and forms for customers. For instance typically gaffers tape comes in a 56" x 900 yard jumbo roll and then individual rolls are converted from that source material into industry standard sizes such as 48mm x 55m on a rewind slitter that cuts the tape as it pulls it off the source roll and then winds it back up on smaller cardboard cores. Other products may be custom cut on lathes that are more flexible when different widths are required. Tape manufacturers also convert their own tape; but often times it is more economical for a specialized converter to do the work for them (also tape manufacturers typically have very high minimums for rolls cut to non-standard widths).