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$5 Solid Wood Coffee Table

I guess before sharing exactly how we got our solid wood coffee table for $5 I need to share a little bit of background, as this is my first post.

Being newly married, making an international move to Switzerland, quitting my job, and my husband starting his residency, it is easy to imagine we are not rolling around in money.  

However, I was determined to turn our first apartment into a home with a limited budget.

Luckily, we were able to successfully furnish our two-bedroom apartment by shopping sales and clearance sections, rehoming items from my mother-in-law and oma-in-law (thanks guys), and buying second-hand.

In the end, the majority of our furniture pieces, leather coach ($1), the kitchen table ($5), leather dining chairs ($40 for 4), massive wardrobe ($10), guest bedroom pull-out couch ($40), and more were purchased second-hand.

Today, second-hand shopping and selling are more convenient than ever and my go-to place in Switzerland for second-hand furniture is Ricardo

Ricardo is the Swiss version of Offerup or LetGo but it also includes a bidding option like eBay. While living in the US I would primarily use Offerup for purchasing and selling furniture.

Another place to buy second hand online in Switzerland is, which is kind of like minus the creeps, and with a way more professional looking platform. Currently, I don’t use this platform as much because I don’t feel 100% comfortable communicating with individuals in German. My husband, however, does and purchased an AMAZING outdoor lounge (which I will feature one of these days).

Okay, now it is time to share exactly how we found our solid wood table and how to increase your odds of finding great second-hand pieces like our coffee table.

How We Found Our Coffe Table

First, we started our search on Ricardo by using specific filters. We started our search by selecting items for auction, items used, and items start at $1-$100.

The best part about Ricardo is shopping for items with a starting bid of $1 (which is actually 1 CHF or 1 Swiss Franc). This increases the buyer’s opportunity to win furniture at ridiculously low prices, which can be a downside to sellers who allow the biding to start at $1.

Secondly, we narrowed our search by using the term massive wood table. If I was searching in the US I would use the term, solid wood table.

And that is how we came across this beauty; A 2-meter, massive wood coffee table with a timeless style.

The previous owners did not take care of the coffee table because there were several water rings and a significant amount of discoloration. These blemishes helped deter potential buyers. Which is amazing, because those are easy to fix, and ultimately the reason we were able to score the table for $5!!!

How to Refurbish Solid Wood Furniture

The tools and items used for this project:


Sander (optional)


Sandpaper (80 and 240 grit)


Olive Oil


Cloth (for applying oil)


First sand with a more course sandpaper (80 grit). If there is intricate detail on your furniture, you may want to sand by hand and with finer paper.


Sand the wood again with finer sandpaper to get a smoother finish.


Wipe off all the saw dust or vacuum until clean.


With your cloth, and a small bowl of olive oil, apply an even layer of oil on the wood.  


Let dry.


Repeat steps 4-5 two more times, for a total of three layers of oil. 

Take a look at

The Final Results