Sounds like the paint, as applied after the holes were drilled, has made the holes a touch too small. Mine were a little tight, but the paint "chipped off" as I pushed the bolts through. Probably best to remove the paint from the inside of the hole and see if the bolt goes through. If it goes through easily, you could touch up the inside of the hole with some black paint --not too much as this will make the hole smaller again -- or put some heavy grease on the bolt and inside the hole. That should stop the rust from forming and lubricate the pivot point at the same time. I wouldn't worry about the grease picking up dust and stuff.
Passion doesn't need an excuse.