Yes you can paint it, I have used a Cellulose spray, made up for me by the local paint wholesaler and it works well. I aked him about the lead content and was informed that it was so small as to make little difference (which was correct), but this is less important on a metal dish anyway.
Colour wise, avoid metalic finishes and brilliant white gloss, try and use a matt finish.
Best of luck with the dish Martin, and welcome to the world of motorised viewing. I would leave the dish as is, let all the neighbours see it. When they ask what it can do, bring them round and show them 20 seconds of Kiosk 9 then tell them all to go home.
Ok you guys may well laugh at me now.... I have painted it black - BUT used Hammerite high temperature resistant matt paint. Thought it would look smaller to the neigbours that way.
The only problem is that I'm not sure how waterproof it is as it is not really exterior paint. (I find out later after my eagerness to put it up wore off) Now I don't know if to put it up and risk it or try to scrub it all off and find some better paint!!! I tried rubbing it off with water- it stays put ok. I tried spraying water onto the dish it leaves water marks on the paint when dry.
I used to know what was going on and was organised in life...until I started this satellite project! Any advice?
NB: I could buy another dish but it seems impossible to find a black 88cm anywhere, they are all white triax ones. I couldn't find any brick colour paint either. I don't want it to put it up and then find all the paint comes off making it looking even worse.
Used to paint my dishes with a paint called Metalac,from an edinburgh company called craig and rose.They use it for the forth rail bridge so is very good. You can get it in any colour and you can get thinners so you can spray it ;)