Yep, valve covers were painted. I couldn't find the exact can you use Bill, but I just used the (super-secret color) paint I had, and 4 coats of clear.
I'm very happy with how they look with the whole engine together. The blue grommets are just the replacements, and they actually look pretty nice against the new VCs.
I painted the front VC with the oil cap in it to avoid getting paint inside it. I didn't coat the cap as much as the VC (on purpose) and the result is a slightly darker color than the VC since some of the black from the cap shows through. I didn't apply a new decal, it'* still the original