If working with win32 (no MFC) take a look at this to change color of items in the list:
Using ListView control under Win32 API
This part of the article says it all:
"You won't believe how much time I took to dig this up to actually work! I mean, 99.99% examples were MFC only!
So here we go, finally, pure WinAPI code for listview colors."
If you can use MFC, this this article shows an hyperlink:
CGridListCtrlEx - Grid Control Based on CListCtrl
Hope it helps.