Before finishing your furniture with whitewash, there a few things to consider. First, you should contemplate if the whitewash will create the color you desire. You'll also need to decide which materials are best suited for the whitewash process and how you will apply the whitewash and protective finish.
Whitewash Color Results
Consider the natural color of the wood. For example, Pine is yellow, Red Oak has a pinkish hue, Walnut a deep brown, and Cedar a red. Whitewash will create a softening effect of the woods natural color. If the furniture you intend to whitewash has been sealed, stained, or painted., you may need to remove the previous finish with stripper, or sanding.
Thin the Paint
Whitewash can be made by thinning the base paint of your choice. Using latex paint is the best, and can be easily thinned with water. Thinning the paint to the consistency of dairy cream is best. For applying the whitewash you will need soft bristled brush, and clean cotton (color free) disposable rags.
Apply with a Clean Rag
To apply the whitewash, take a clean rag and pre-moisten the wood with water, to be damp, not dripping wet. Next, brush the whitewash, working in smooth even strokes, always in the same direction. When finished, seal the wood with a clear Latex top coat.