Ive recently bought a strat body and i am wondering if u should make all the neccesary holes (strate guiard etc) befor painting.
Holes for the pick guard shouldn't matter too much. May I firmly recommend predrilling all the holes before using screws (regardless of whether you paint first or not) as you'll run less risk of splitting the wood.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM