Yes it does come out, but in a handful of pieces actually. I replaced my whole dash because of warping and cracking.
I don't have experience in painting them though so I can't speak on that.
The first thing to pop off is the 3 inch piece of bezel right under the steering wheel column, just give it a tug and it pops off.
Then the bezel itself will have 5 screws or so. Just run your fingers along the under-side of all the surfaces and you will feel them before you can see them. When you think you have them all, start tugging on the very right side with one hand on the right side of the heat/ac control and one hand on the left of it. In the few that I've pulled, that is the most fragile spot. Take your time because you don't want to break any of the little tabs used to hold it in place in the dash. If you feel resistance it means you just missed a screw somewhere. Adjust your steering wheel tilt all the way down (won't move the column but makes it a hair easier anyway). Take your time sliding the bezel between the upper dash and the steering column, it will feel like it doesn't fit, but it does. If you go too fast here, the inside of the bezel can cut up the padded part of the dash, so really take your time.
Once that is off, remove the ash tray. The knee bolster (lower half of dash) has its screws behind the ash tray and along the bottom. When all the screws are out very gently pull it down. There are electrical connections in the console that use the bolster as an anchor.
You will need to detach the vents as well. If you are pulling all this out I'd recommend pulling the console if you have one and give it a good cleaning too
When the bolster is off, nearly all the screws for the upper dash are in plain view, remember that there will be screws inside the glove compartment too
. You don't need to specifically remember which screw goes where, but there are 2 different types of screws. Machine screws and ones designed to go through plastic. Just remember which of those goes where.
Through the whole thing, when you feel resistance just stop and look for a screw you may have missed. Good luck getting it all back in there too
It will squeak and groan for a while, just tighten some screws if you can tell where its coming from.
Edit to add: In the 97 and later, the bezel piece around the radio pops off very easily, just get your fingers under it on the bottom near the console and give it a tug. From there you will see screws and along the bottom side for the dash. Again, don't forget to look inside the glove compartment for screws