There is no question that PEEL AWAY will remove all of your paint for you including the mortar. You have to determine the type of paint on the surface. If the first coat of paint that was applied was an oil base than PEEL AWAY I will remove it all. If the first coat was latex than you need PEEL AWAY 7. Either way you can be assured that you willhave clean brick. Cetainly don't sand blast besides the mess you will damage tyhe surface.