Best Tool for Restoring Historic Paint: The Metabo LF724

2023’s Best Tool for Restoring Historic Paint: The Metabo LF724

first-hand evaluation by an Ypsilanti Realtor and Licensed Builder

Metabo LF724 with dust extractor attached in use removing finish from a wood table or door
the Metabo LF724 in action

Disclaimer: We did not receive any sort of advertising or free products from Metabo for this article.

Rehabilitating historic homes in Ypsilanti requires a lot of time, patience and appropriate tooling. Ypsilanti’s housing stock includes of many turn-of-the-century architectural assets; over the years not all of these homes have received the maintenance and attention they deserve. The Metabo LF724 paint removal tool stands out as a valuable asset for Ypsilanti realtors, real estate investors, renovators and rehabbers working in our market. Resurfacing exterior siding on Victorian-era homes and revitalizing interior trim details (casing, window sills, etc) are two of our favorite uses for this tool, and this becomes particularly useful while reworking a home’s exterior siding and trim details for a clean and tidy appearance.

The problem: Layers of flaking and failing paint prevent new paint from coating evenly and properly bonding to exterior wood siding.

an older home's exterior siding with flaking, failing paint

Exterior wood siding with failing paint

The solution: Resurfacing exterior wood siding panels before applying a quality exterior paint.

Imagine an angle grinder and an automatic wood planer mated and had a child; I think of the LF724 as that child, and it works by cleanly shaving material from the wood’s surface. The LF724’s shaving is much faster and more efficient than, eg, using an orbital or detail sander to pulverize old paint from wood’s surface. The Metabo’s cutting surface depth is adjustable for the removal of paint/finishes without marring or cutting down the wood’s surface; that’s why the LF724 is a personal favorite for restoring historic paint.

Does your historic Ypsilanti home have sloping floors?

A more aggressive use for the Metabo is that it can be set to cut deep enough to thin out wood material. When trying to level a historic property’s sloping floors, a piece of plywood can be shaved down aggressively into a curved/varying depth so as to counteract the slope in the floor (I’ve heard this described as a sleeper subfloor). This would be done before a new finish floor is put down. I’ve removed 1/2″ of slope from a floor by simply modifying a piece of 3/4″ plywood to mirror the slope and ameliorate the issue. This is a far less invasive approach than attempting to jack up or straighten out structural joists/beams which have settled over time; we do not recommend jacking historic properties to counteract settling without at least consulting a professional engineer first. From the hundreds of historic homes I’ve toured as an Ypsilanti Realtor, I can assure you that some sloping in historic homes’ floors are par for the course from their having stood up to the test of time.

Disclaimer: We may receive commissions for purchases made through our affiliate links above.

For best results, choose an agent who is familiar with local housing stock and the pro’s and con’s of owning historic properties. Call 734-272-6612 for a confidential consultation.