The first spring I owned the Cub, I painted every plated part under the Cub. Last spring I painted everything starting at the hitch and going back about half way. This year I plan to paint what remains. I use a two coat process. A cromate type primer followed by an industrial high gloss finish.
I learned long ago that standard plated hardware does not stand up to highway conditions. Also many paint systems are only good enough for a couple years of use.
It is the curse of low end, cheap products.
I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!