Mine are pained with gloss paint. Easy to wipe down.
Hi Mike: You can either tile, paint or put a surround on. Whatever you do, make sure the area where the tub meets the wall is caulked and water proof. If you are going to put a surround on, make a paper template, noting which side faces the wall, for the area around the faucet. Good luck
Mike: I put a long, rectangular piece of "iron" scrollwork (Hobby Lobby has a ton of it) above my tub surround = whole new look!
Eat her tile or buy a souround to put on it all made in homedepot