We just completed this kitchen remodel. The kitchen cabinets were original to the house, put in 30 years ago. They definitely needed to be updated!
Because these were so old we went ahead and used a primer on them. You don't typically need primer when using chalk paint, but in certain situations we do use primer. Because of the age, we decided it would be a good extra step.
After taking off all the doors (read my blog on the prep of painting kitchen cabinets) and making sure everything was numbered correctly, the cleaning process began. Everything gets cleaned and scrubbed really well. Then a light sanding. Next comes the painting. With this kitchen we used Annie Sloan chalk paint (read my blog on painting cabinets with AS chalk paint) in a mix of colors - paris gray and pure white. We sanded in between the first coat and the 2nd coat lightly with 400 grit. We also did this again on the 2nd coat. It helps to smooth out the roller marks. Also a light distressing was done.They were all then sealed with a GF sealant. The hardware we ended up reusing in order to save money. We gave them a good boil with water and vinegar and then scrubbed and scrubbed them. What a huge improvement! It is amazing what a good cleaning can do!
Below is a photo of the light sanding we do - you can see it is just light sanding.
Here is the kind of primer that we used. Also below is a photo of another kind of primer that we like, which you can color match to your paint. It is from Benjamin Moore.
Here is a before and after of the hardware that was scrubbed clean to a nice shiny light brass
**If you ever have questions about furniture painting or cabinet painting you can call me now and ask questions. Just go to the online store and buy a phone call. You can purchase 1 hour and that 1 hours lasts for a year. You can use it a few minutes at a time or all at once**