As a furniture painters we like to remove all hardware, drawers and doors from each piece we paint. This gives us nice, clean, professional finish and is really makes painting the piece much easier.
One problem we were encountering was having the doors fit back on the piece nicely. After a lot of trial and error, we found that replacing all hinges in the exact same location typically fixed the issues we had.
Some pieces, like dining room hutches might have several doors so it's important to mark each door as you take them off. We do this by putting a small mark on the bottom edge of the door with a Sharpie pen. You can do it by number, right to left, any system that works for you! After marking make sure you cover it with a small piece of painters tape.
After taking the doors off, we begin to remove all of the hardware. We use a plastic container or shoebox for each furniture piece. All screws and hardware go into this container and is never misplaced.
As we remove the hinges from the doors, we mark the back of the hinge (with a Sharpie) with the location. For example, RT for Right Top meaning Right door, Top hinge.
When doing this, we always mark the backside of the hinge that goes onto the door itself. That way we always know how the hinge goes onto the door.
After marking all of the hardware, we again use painters tape to cover the marks to prepare them for painting.
All hardware is cleaned, prepped with primer, and then spray painted followed with a spray of clear coat. It's best to allow them to dry overnight before putting back on the furniture piece.
Putting the hinges and doors back on your piece should now be a very easy process!