Mine were not painted when I picked them up. That seems kind of weird. Most metal shops would use a light coat of oil to protect the raw metal.
I requested no grease because I wanted to use Palladium. I also wanted to be able to inspect the inside of the birf before I installed it. I don't see any reason why you should have a problem mixing Valvoline Palladium with the grease they packed it with. They are both high moly lithium based grease.
Mine are still working excellently, by the way.