I painted an old pair black/whiste/chrome camo atthe end of last year. It took a long time but the end result was well worth it. Here's what I did:
Completely sand the poles (you've done that already)
Paint the lightest colour first on the whole pole, leave to dry completely
Rip bits of masking tape into rough shapes and stick them on to cover 1/3 of the total area of the pole
Paint your next lightest colour, leave to dry completely
Put moe shapes of masking tape to cover another 13 of the total area of the pole, overlapping the bits that are already stuck on there
Paint your darkest colour, leave to dry completely
Peel off all the tape slowly and carefully
Finish whatever way you want - some sort of lacquer probably (I covered them in clear plastic adheisive sheeting and it worked well)
Pick whatever colours you want. I'm going to do some more this seaon probably to match whatever skis and/or clothes I get (co-ordination is key guys, trust me). Like for red/black camo I'd spray all red, mask off some, spray black lightly to give a dark red, mask some more then spray solid black.
I'd post photos but they're at home and I'm in Whistler now.