Advice: Updating kitchen cabinets

I have gotten some great advice from members of this forum in the past so I thought I would ask for advice on my latest project: Updating our kitchen cabinets which are currently 1980's style dark wood.
The cabinets are in great structural condition + we have a limited budget so we are thinking of painting them white and replacing the door hardware and drawer pulls. Everyone tells me how tedious and time consuming it is to hand prime and paint them because of the # of coats it takes, etc. So, can anyone tell me if buying/renting a paint spray gun would be a better route? If so, what should I look for? Can I accomplish this in a weekend? Or, should I just hire a professional? What can I expect to pay to hire someone?
Thanks for your help! DZ snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMduke.edu
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90% of painting labor is in the preparation. If you spray, all you save is some brushing. You still have to degrease, sand, prime by hand, and sand between coats. It is especially important to prepare a varnish-type finish carefully before painting, or the paint will chip like crazy. "Liquid sandpaper" is probably the best thing to use.
It is more than a weekend, for sure. You will need three coats in all liklihood, plus prep. But hiring someone won't be cheap if he does a good job--he has to spend time too, and unlike yourself, he expects to be paid. It is probably two full days work even if you take off all the hardware and then replace everything after he is done.
You can certainly do this yourself--do part of the job one weekend and then do the rest later.

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Thanks for the advice Donald. The recurring theme in the advice that I have been given is definitely to invest time in the prep. Thanks again, DZ

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