If there's one thing I can't stand, its serious ugly linoleum :-)
No, I have never heard of painting linoleum, particularly if its the vinyl type. Usually, these floor coverings are designed so things don't stick to or stain them.
An alternative you might consider is putting new vinyl linoeum self adhering squares right over the top of the existing linoleum.....as long as the current linoleum is well adhered down with no big holes or divots out of it. Most of the big home improvement centers (Home Depot, Lowes, Hechingers, Builder's Emporeum, etc) have a wide selection in these 12" square self sticking tiles, in all kinds of patterns and colors. They are a snap to install and relatively inexpensive. You will need to thoroughtly scrub the old surface and treat it first with some stuff they sell to prepare it for the new tiles, and you will need to get a linoleum knife to cut tiles as required. Home Depot is particularly good at helping customers on a project like this.
Best wishes, and tell hubby to get his buns in gear and work with you on this project. I'm sure you'll be very happy with your efforts.