Rebuilding wire wheels is considered a bit of an art and also one of those jobs which you can't afford to get wrong. A bit of a run in some paoint isnt going to matter, but a wheel collapsing as you move along at 90mph may be more of an issue.
This article isnt meant as a comprehensive review of the techniques involved as there are many expert tutorials and sites out on the web. This is meant to help you assess the wheels you have and the options to move forward based on the experience I've had.
I've come across wheels which look great and are actually completely lethal and others which as rusty and furry but could go on forever. The first rule of wheel refiurbishment is to inspect the wheel carefully. You are looking for obvious things like missing or lose spokes and less obvious things like cracks in the rim itself.
A finished pair of wheels with refurbished hubs, new spokes and rims: