Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

A $10 Coffee Table


I heart Craigslist.  I really do.  I’ve snatched up so many goodies these past few weeks for pennies.  Pennies, I tell you!  Like this solid wood bench/coffee table with tapered brass feet.  It was ten smackers.  And did I mention its 6′ long?

This is the glamor shot Craigslist photo that had me at hello.  (there’s potential there, people!)


When I first saw the listing I wasn’t sure where we would put it.  A bench in the laundry room?  A coffee table in the den?  Turns out it’s the perfect size for our main living room.  Three cheers for no longer having to use an ottoman as a toddler catapulting device coffee table.

The first thing I did the night I brought it home was apply a stripping agent.  I didn’t get any photos of this step because it’s messy.  Really messy.  I scraped the stripper off along with several beat up layers of high gloss shellac (my guess anyway) that had covered the wood top.  I was pretty surprised to find that the wood was actually a fairly pale maple.  I used mineral sprits and steel wool to get all the goo off and then applied a couple coats of stain to darken it up again.

I was afraid to go too dark, and in the end I didn’t get it as dark as I originally had in mind.  At this point I pulled it into the living room to see how it looked and decided that I like it this color though, so we shall see.  I can always go darker later if I change my mind.  And its for this reason that I  haven’t applied a sealant yet — you know, in case you were wondering.


Do excuse the half dressed little one and the crowd of items to the left awaiting seller pick up (that’s right, I’ve been selling on Craigslist like mad, too.  Last month I made over $500 selling things that we had stored in dark corners!).


Then I polished up the tarnished feet (the brass feet not the baby feet) with some Bar Keeper’s Friend.  <— Love that stuff.  Mostly because it doesn’t eff up my hardwood floors when I’m too juiced to take something outside to work on it.



Such a difference, right?


This wood top is so smooth!



It was night by the time I finished up so excuse the dark shots — I was just too excited to have found this perfectly sized piece for so cheap.


And that’s the story of our $10 coffee table.


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

6 thoughts on “A $10 Coffee Table

  1. The table looks AMAZING and fits the space perfectly. What a steal! Love those legs, and they came up so well. I’ve heard of Barkeeper’s Friend but not tried it. I too have a pile to sell on Craigslist, but haven’t gotten round to listing it yet. Anyhow, great work on the table. I’ll show you mine soon… :)

  2. Thanks! We’re really loving it. The size couldn’t be more perfect. Can’t wait to see your surfboard table, Andy!

  3. Hey Olivia, what kind of stripper did you use? I have a table that needs to be stripped, and it too is covered in lots of high gloss shellac or lacquer or something idk. Great job on yours! It looks amazing.

    I can testify for barkeepers friend. Works on everything, even makes my Pyrex bowls new again!

  4. Hi Kaycee! I used Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper which works really well (like below). But be forewarned, it’s fumey and burns like the dickens if you get it on your skin! Thanks for the pyrex tip–I had no idea!


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