if it´s manual, you will have to cut the rubber to get the knob off. there will be a white piece of plastic glued on to the lever, so you might have to hack it off w/ a hacksaw or something. that´s what i did to mine. and while i was at it, i cut off some of the shaft length to make it shorter and i got a heavier shift knob. :-D
You guys are making it all too hard sounding... it´s freakin easy as pie.
If you´re talking about the center console, just take off a couple screws on each side near the base of the plastic, and pull up. The rubber boot is connected by 6 (?) screws that are on the underside of the plastic. The shift knob unscrews (CCW).
I dunno if you want to paint the shift knob though... your hands constantly being on it may dull/flake off the color.
Oh and to get the boot off the shift knob, just pull the boot off. There should be no cutting for any of this.