Originally Posted by lionel-boukobza
I have the same problem. Is it possible to just unmount them and paint them?
I took a look at my old door handles and at first glance I'm thinking no way, riveted parts, but I looked up under the lever (photo) and saw a snap ring. Only problem would be the return spring (other photo) would have to come off, appears to be staked on. So if you could work the spring off, pull the pin and remove the door handle you would be good to go. Replace the spring and stake it back on with a punch or dull chisel. Having the backing plate powder coated would be a real good fix, but cost may make just buying a new pair a better option.
Removing the door handle is another issue, but like steven243 said, once you've done it once, its easy.
To remove the handles you have to strip the inside of the door, 5 screws and window crank on my '02, then pop the door panel off. Crank the window up a little from the bottom and remove the 2 big philips screws that attach to window bottom.
Up top you have to remove the window track felt, on first window I pulled the whole thing out but on second one I just worked it out of the triangle piece at the front of the window opening. Remove two screws half hidden by the door gasket to remove the triangle piece. Then the window will lift out and you can see the back of the door handle. Pull the clip out of the door latch rod. Then work the two wedges out with long nosed pliers. The wedges do have notches at the bottom and spring clips engage the notches to keep the wedges from falling out. Since I was replacing the handles I just bent the spring clips out of the way, if you are going to reuse the hanles may want to do another way.