Near the completion of any paint-and-body project, all cars look something like this. "This stage-after the metalwork is complete and the car has been stripped, primered, and block-sanded-is one of the most important," Austin stresses. "This is when you check panel gaps and perfect fitment before disassembling a car for paint. The last thing you want to do is have freshly painted panels rub against each other when you open the doors, trunk, or hood. It's very time consuming and a big pain, and the effort you put into a project at this stage can make or break the quality of your bodywork. If a panel doesn't fit right before paint, it won't fit after either. Bad prepwork is the biggest mistake DIYers make. Actually laying down the paint is only 15 percent of the job; the rest is prep. Any dents, scratches, or chips you see during prep will only look worse after they're painted."