I painted mine the same color as the car (black) and cleared it. It came out real good and I dont have to worry about them looking like you described. I did mine with a paint gun I got from harbor freight but I'm sure a rattle can from dodge would work good (prep them good).
ARMOR ALL FTMFW. Make sure you wipe them off after pretty good, otherwise when it gets wet it will streak, but it makes the black parts black and lasts for at least a month. Do all door trim with armor all at least once a month to keep them supple too.
i found that the cheapest easiest way was vinyl (most sign stores sell it). just get a big sheet, lay it over the pillars, then take a heat gun and lightly go over the vinyl then get out the trusty xacto knife and trim the excess material away and call it a day.