Brick fireplace with the 3 protruding bricks instead of a mantle

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How can we remove the bricks and add a mantle? The bricks are evenly spaced at different heights - low, medium and high. They are not very big and don't hold anything, making it impossible to decorate the fireplace. I plan to paint the brick and fireplace surround.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, You can see the highest one in this pic
You can see the highest one in this pic.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, You can see the lowest one in this pic
You can see the lowest one in this pic.
q replacing protruding fireplace bricks with a mantle, concrete masonry, fireplaces mantels, how to, Another one of the highest one
Another one of the highest one.
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