Mav, if you go to your local home depot or lows they sell bright yellow soft rubber boots for the top of the jack stands, I beleive they are under $30 for a set. Or you could just go to wally world and get a cheap bag of shop towels and use those, or some of that foam pipe insulation works pretty good.
I'm with willy's if I have the money and want the finish product to last I'm all for powder coating. It will never chip rarely scratch and is vertually fade resistant and needs almost no maintance. Just spray the chunks of grime off whipe it down and go