To whitewash cabinets, remove the doors and the hardware, such as the drawer pulls, and clean the cabinets thoroughly. Strip the cabinets with a stripping agent, and sand the cabinets with medium-grit sandpaper until the surfaces are smooth. Combine 2 parts latex paint with 2 parts water to make the whitewash, and apply the whitewash with a wide brush. Allow the whitewash to dry, and apply a water-based sealant to the cabinet surfaces.
Do not allow the whitewash or sealant to cover the installation holes for the hardware or cabinet doors. If whitewash or sealant covers an installation hole, use a pipe cleaner to remove it. Use a stripping agent that is recommended for the current finish. For instance, use a stain stripper if the cabinets are stained, or use a paint stripper to remove paint.
Apply the whitewash in the same direction as the wood grain to produce a smooth finish, or against the grain for a distressed appearance.
If desired, add a second and third coat of whitewash. Allow the whitewash to dry between coats, and allow the final coat of whitewash to dry before applying a water-based sealant. Allow the sealant to cure for the recommended amount of time before reassembling the cabinet doors and hardware.