On my son's 97, we painted the grill toreador red to match the rest of the truck and left the chrome, and that looks ALOT better than the stock gray that you are describing. We have a paint shop that puts the factory color in the rattle cans so that was super easy to do.
The other thing we did was to paint the gray trim piece black using the Krylon Fusion black and topping it off with 3 shots of clear coat. Also did the bottom valalnce. If I get time later today, I'll post a shot. Black looks so much better than gray, what was Ford thinking? LOL
Oh and I'll save everyone the trouble...regarding my post