Mount keel before or after painting?


Wooden Canoe Maniac
I like the look of a varnished keel. In the past I've installed it after painting the body, but I ended up with a little messy area where the bedding compound oozed out. What do you folks think?...
1) Install the keel before painting so I can clean up the oozed stuff easily? I'd cover the keel with tape before painting, but I fear this might make it more difficult to paint without streaks.
2) Install keel atop 1st coat of paint...
3) Install as the last step. But I fear that when I clean up the oozed compound (with paint thinner?) I might make the painted surface a bit dull.

Try goo gone instead of thinner. I just used that on my Kennebec when I put the stembands on. I got most of the heavy stuff off first with a small flathead screwdriver with a rag covering the tip to get up tight and get most of the heavy stuff. Use the goo gone to clean up the residue. It didn't affect the luster of the paint, but I wouldn't scrub too hard.