Review of Nour EZ Lock Roller Frame
and Tradition Microfibre Plus Roller Sleeves
These are my initial thoughts having tried out the Nour EZ Lock Roller Frame and Tradition Microfibre Plus Roller Sleeves. Nour isn’t a manufacturer that I’m very familiar with – I have a vague awareness of the brand from visits to the Painting and Decorating Show, but none of the main decorators’ merchants seem to currently stock them.
The best places to get hold of their products is online for now, unless you live close to Glenwood Decorating Supplies, or London Decorators Merchants. Click here to see the latest prices.
Nour Tradition Microfibre Plus Roller Sleeves
According to the Nour website (www.nour.com), these paint rollers are available in 4”, 9” and 18”, the two larger sizes being available with 10mm, 13mm and 15mm nap, and the 4” sleeves only with a 10mm nap. If you’re not familiar with what “nap” is, think of it like the length of the pile on your carpet – the longer the nap, the deeper the pile. Some manufacturers actually refer to their rollers as “medium pile” now, rather than using the term “nap”.
Shorter naps are great for smoother surfaces (but hold less paint), longer naps hold more paint but are designed more for use on less smooth surfaces.
In my role as a professional decorator, most of my work is in people’s homes, e.g. bedrooms, kitchens etc. As a result, on most jobs I will be using a 9” short-medium nap roller, often with a 4” one for difficult to reach areas etc. I rarely have use for an 18” sleeve, or for a longer nap.
Nour Tradition Microfibre Plus 9” Roller Sleeve In Use
For whatever reason (blame it on my age if you want!), I had somehow managed to pick up a 15mm nap sleeve to try, which is a bit longer than what I normally use. Not a problem, I just needed to be conscious of it and adapt my style a little; a longer nap holds more paint (hence claims such as “high capacity” and “superior paint pick-up” on the packaging), which means fewer trips back to your scuttle or tray – when you’re working large areas, this saves a lot of time.
But when you’re used to working with a shorter pile roller sleeve, you need to consciously think about spreading that extra paint out evenly across the surface of the wall, otherwise you end up with too much in some places and an inferior finish. The first time I used the Nour Tradition Microfibre Roller Sleeves was in a kitchen.
There are typically lots of small areas of wall rather than large expanses, which is why it was handy to have a smaller roller with me as well.
I have to say, on first use once I adapted my painting style slightly to cater for the longer pile, I was actually quite impressed with this roller. Nour say that they are lint-free and can be used straight out the pack, which I did with no resulting problems at all. It held a lot of paint – OK, that meant it did take slightly longer to clean up at the end of the job, but I can see how in a larger room there would still be an overall time saving, and it did clean up nicely.
And I was really pleasantly surprised, given the longer nap, at what a good finish it gave. The kitchen I was working in has a conservatory on the back which lets in a lot of light, so any imperfections in the finish would be quite visible. But I was very pleased with the results (as were my customers!), and would be really interested now to try out one with a shorter nap (which is what I should have got in the first place!).
Nour Tradition Microfibre Plus 6” Roller Sleeve In Use
So this is a bit of an anomaly. I painted large parts (well, the small parts actually) of the kitchen with a roller that doesn’t exist. According to the Nour website, the Tradition Microfibre Plus roller sleeves are available in 18”, 9” and 4”. Somehow I ended up with a 6” one! (Keep it clean, people). It performed very similarly to its big brother – picked up loads of paint and gave a good finish. The only complaints I have about it relate to 6” rollers in general, not to this specific one:
- What’s the point? We already have 4”, 9”, 12”, 15” and occasionally 18”. What do we actually need a 6” roller for? A 4” is perfect for those awkward to reach spaces when applying emulsion, or areas where a larger roller is difficult to manoeuvre. Yes, it’s 50% bigger than the 4”, but the beauty of the 4” is it’s small enough for those awkward places, so I don’t get the point. Where does it end? ‘Oh, today I shall be using a 7⅜” roller’?!
- There aren’t any 6” roller frames (or if there are, they’re not widely available). So I had to use a 4” frame. So if, for example, you’re using a 6” sleeve on a long-arm 4” frame (the arm of which is actually only 3¼” long), to get down behind a radiator, you can’t apply even pressure equally along the length of the sleeve. Naturally, there is more pressure applied at one end of the sleeve than the other (see picture), so you have too much paint applied in some areas, and not enough in others, which means you spend more time trying to even it out.
So no, I don’t get 6” roller sleeves, but if I did, this would be a good one! I must try their 4” sleeves next time…
In summary, I like the Nour Tradition Microfibre Plus roller sleeves, they hold a lot of paint and give a decent finish. I’d really like to try one with a slightly shorter nap (a “medium pile” model”) which is more what I’m used to using in the types of property I work in, but overall I was pretty impressed.
Nour EZ Lock Roller Frame Review
At the same time, I tried out the Nour EZ Lock 9” roller frame. I must be honest, I never give as much thought to the roller frames as I do to the sleeves – as long as I pick up the right size and it looks reasonably robust, it’s not something I pay much attention to. What Nour claim is different about this frame (although after a little research I found a few others with similar technology) is the way that the frame holds the sleeve in place.
Obviously when you’re painting you want the sleeve to stay on the frame and not slip, but equally it needs to be easy to remove at the end of the job for cleaning. Usually this is achieved by the metal bars in the cage pushing outwards onto the inside of the sleeve, to hold it in place (see diagram). This can make getting a wet, paint-soaked slippery sleeve off a particularly obstinate frame a bit of a challenge when it comes to clean-up time at the end of a job. Especially if (like me) you suffer from arthritis in your hands and gripping things tightly can be painful or challenging.
The Nour EZ Lock roller frame works differently – it has metal springs at one end of the frame, which hold the sleeve in place while in use (see diagram). When you want to remove the sleeve, you only need to slide it half an inch to get it beyond the springs, and then it slides off easily. I have to say, it’s a clever little idea, and I did find it easier to remove the sleeve at the end of the day.
Nour EZ Lock Roller Frame In Use
The Nour EZ Lock Roller Frame has a standard threaded hole at the end of the handle, so it can be used with most roller poles as well as hand-held use. On the plus side, the EZ Lock release system works well, it holds the sleeve in place all day but releases it easily at clean-up time.
The frame feels robust and well made, and using it with a pole it stayed in place for the whole job, no twisting or coming loose. On the downside, when holding it rather than using a pole, it felt a bit big and bulky (see photo comparison with typical roller frame), and there were one or two sharp corners which dug into my hands, i.e. it could be more ergonomic (just showing off using posh words!). This might not bother many people, but with my arthritis it did become a bit uncomfortable by the end of the day.
In summary, I really like the idea of the Nour EZ Lock quick release roller frame, although I’m not sure if this feature is enough of a benefit to everyone – it certainly appealed to me.
The frame is robust and solid and worked really well on a pole, but to me felt bulky and uncomfortable in hand-held use – but that’s just me, we’re all different, and someone with larger hands and/or no arthritis would probably get on fine with it – a little work on the ergonomics and this could be a great little frame, especially as they don’t seem to be ridiculously priced – I found them online for between £7 – £9, which is about what I would normally pay for a 9” frame.
Nour Paint Roller Review – by Robin Gofton