A bit of advice...don't buy a log cabin! Especially as a second home if you won't be around to take care of it regularly. My grandfather, who built the cabin, thought it was going to be maintenence free. HA! I think it's been more demanding than a traditional brick/vinyl siding home.
The log cabin in the 1980's with original finish
The biggest problem initially was insect damage. At the time the cabin was built, it was common practice to leave the logs in the lumberyard with the bark on, which encouraged beetle infestation. Once the logs reached the building site, they were already contaminated with beetle larvae.
After 10 years or so insect holes started appearing in the logs. My grandfather was (poorly)advised to paint the logs to keep the insects out. However, the insects were already in so painting it wasn't going to prevent anything. Additionally, the paint has inhibited the logs' ability to "breathe" and has contributed to moisture problems inside the house.
Insect damage to the logs
My grandfather has since passed on and my parents now own the cabin, but my husband and I are the primary caretakers. Recently I noticed it seemed the insect damage was getting worse and I called out a log repair specialist. He found several rotten logs and told us the paint really needed to come off, which was fine by me since I always disliked the paint and wished the cabin could have stayed its natural wood color.
The red house with new replacement logs
So, all that to say, much money later...the cabin is back to its true color, the rotten logs have been replaced, and the holes are sealed up. Now all we have to do is apply clearcoat to the entire cabin every 3-4 years! Geesh! What a job that will be!
Tah-dah! The paint is almost all gone! Yippee!