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I agree, first dry fit the piece together then paint, then build. I think it looks better. Just make sure not to get paint on the pieces where you will have glue. But don't skip the dry fit. make sure it goes together just as you want it to.

I built a small kids desk several years ago, had all the pieces made and sanded perfect to the plans and then painted each piece. When I started the assembly, "ooops" it didn't go together and a few minor adjustments were needed. Not good, had to repaint.
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