The farmhouse spiral staircase came out of the paint shop several weeks back and was installed. However, I was waiting for the stair treads. That wait is over and done.
Back when I was planning the kitchen and chose to use bamboo, I visited ECO Supply in Richmond, Virginia. While there, Greg introduced me to some other materials I might be interested in – one of which was PaperStone. PaperStone is made of 100% post consumer material (either cardboard or standard office paper) and uses a cashew nut shell liquid based resin. The most common use of PaperStone is as a counter top material.
After discussing my ideas with Greg, I chose to use 3/4" PaperStone in Mocha for the treads on the spiral Staircase, the fireplace mantle and the window-box sills. The treads needed to have a series of curved cuts so I worked with Aaron at Acorn Fabrication who have a CNC machine and experience working with PaperStone. Aaron picked up the stock, machined my parts and delivered everything back to ECO Supply so I could pick it up along with some other supplies.
I did the final milling of the treads. This consisted of easing the edges with a 1/4" round-over bit in my router and boring holes for all of the mounting hardware. I have chosen to leave the handrail off. With such a large diameter stair, the natural tendency is to rest your hand on the pole. This aligns your feet with the most comfortable rise/run tread ratio which also happens to be well inside of the mid-point on the treads (leaving ample space out to the edge and alleviating vertigo). In the future, when the second floor becomes more used, I will install the balusters and handrail. For now, I want to place planters on some of the treads – spider plants and other ivy.
The finish on the treads starts with a urethane sealer I created by mixing 50:50 of semi-gloss floor urethane and ‘reducer’. I applied two coats. After it dried, I lightly scuffed it using a scotch brite pad on an palm sander. Then I applied a coat of paste wax and buffed it out. The result look like the leather blotter of an old writing desk but is extremely hard.
I finished and install the fireplace mantle much the same as the stair treads. I still have the window box sills left.