What is the Story Behind Charleston Green?

Charleston Green

Our fair and Holy City of Charleston, South Carolina, is painted with dabs and dots of a single signature color, which is commonly referred to as Charleston Green. It's a color that could dress up the shabbiest Charleston single house, and aggrandize the smallest freedman's cottage.

A green so dark it appears black, it lends an air of subtle chameleon mystery to streets with light streaming through moss draped trees. The color changes as you move and elevates what might have been a simple flat black to a rich and dignified tone.

The History Behind Charleston Green

Charleston Green lends a formal sensibility, but the purported history is more rebellious. The origin of the color is contested, but the story goes that after the American Civil War, the Union sent buckets of plain black government-issued paint down to Charleston to gloss over what war had done to the city. But Charlestonians, less than impressed with boring black, added yellow and blue (or green, depending on the source) to make the deep forest green now named for the city where it originated. 

How to Use Charleston Green on Your Home

If you're strolling Downtown Charleston on the brick, pavement, or cobblestone streets, you'll notice the hue applied to front doors, window shutters, Italianate trim and even balustrades. There's no right or wrong way to use Charleston Green, but do remember that direct sunlight will heat the dark color and could cause it to bubble, or even be hot to the touch—a danger those moss draped trees can alleviate, since the Charleston housing market is quite hot enough on its own.

This deepest-deep green hue can be used in a variety of different exterior color schemes. The most classic is off-white with Charleston Green shutters and doors. Green shutters can compliment a lighter green home, a yellow home, or even a pink one.

If you'd like to add a touch of black-tie class, but don't want to darken your overall palette, try painting just the front door, or brushing the window sashes with Charleston Green while the casing remains white. Some homes paint only their front steps in the color. Window boxes are a nice place to add a deep green to bring out the green leaves and flowers and provide a visual anchor to the shape of the windows. Think of them as the strong brows on the face of your home.

You can also pull the color inside by using it on an interior staircase or in a study. Give a high-style makeover to a small half bath with a stunning high gloss enamel finish or treat a mantle to a stroke of dark green.

While the color chip is readily available from Historic Charleston Foundation's collection at your nearest Sherwin-Williams, you could also mix your own using a local recipe:

DIY: Charleston Green Recipe

10 ounces black paint

4 ounces green paint

½ ounce yellow paint 

Now that you know what to look for, the next time you're walking South of Broad , you'll more easily spot the difference between a true black hue and the trademark tint that we call Charleston Green. 

Looking for something different? See below for current listings downtown Charleston!

Modify Search Criteria

61 Barre Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17023243 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, n/a sqft

Halsey Park has just released the first of two Town Homes, custom designed by BEAU CLOWNEY ARCHITECTS. Each has 3 Bedrooms and 3.5 baths with over ... 

More Details

$1,995,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

18 Broad Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17023322 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 8363 sqft

Elegant, exclusive, and sophisticated, this penthouse encompasses the top two floors of the People's Building, Charleston's first skyscraper. With ... 

More Details

$16,500,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC

11 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17023135 / Active
10 br, 6 ba, 6017 sqft

Step inside the City Centre Inn, a 6,000+ sq. ft. property in the heart of downtown in Charleston's historic Ansonborough neighborhood, that boasts... 

More Details

$3,495,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

32 Prioleau Street
Charleston, SC 29401
One Vendue Range
Residential

MLS# 17023018 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2583 sqft

One Vendue Range- Old Hollywood glamour in a beautiful Historic Charleston setting. Step off the elevator into your own stately foyer and experienc... 

More Details

$2,575,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

249 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17022942 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1932 sqft

Off-street gated parking for 5 in front and private walled and gated courtyard in back with bricked patio garden. Walk to MUSC and all the new upco... 

More Details

$760,000
Provided courtesy of Classic Charleston Properties LLC

267 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17023048 / Active
6 br, 6 ba, 4291 sqft

Three story Victorian Charleston Single house with commercial space located south of the crosstown.The property consists of two 3 bedroom and 3 bat... 

More Details

$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Flyway Real Estate, LLC

315 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022899 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1378 sqft

1.) There are two large ceiling to floor windows in the dining room. There are a wall of windows with decorative exposed brick in the great room. A... 

More Details

$749,000
Provided courtesy of Bryant Real Estate Group

66 South Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17022744 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1408 sqft

THREE BEDROOM TWO BATH HOUSE. Traditional Charleston Single style with a highly functional layout. Downstairs has one bedroom, one full bath, and... 

More Details

$335,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

87 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17022560 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1301 sqft

Perfectly placed pied a terre! Wonderful South of Broad location with views that will take your breath away. There are only a handful of downtown p... 

More Details

$1,550,000
Provided courtesy of Atlantic Properties

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17022335 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 534 sqft

Located in the heart of the historic district in the French Quarter neighborhood, this building retains many of it's original features. Gleaming ha... 

More Details

$425,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties

278 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022293 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1042 sqft

Gorgeous, beautifully renovated 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath condo located on Historic King Street. High smooth ceilings, tall windows with an abundance o... 

More Details

$550,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

278 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17022291 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1000 sqft

Gorgeous, beautifully renovated 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath condo located on Historic King Street. High smooth ceilings, tall windows with an abundance o... 

More Details

$550,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

104 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17022248 / Active
n/a br, 4 ba, 5571 sqft

Seabrook Manor is a stucco over brick Charleston single house. It has an Adamesque interior which is highlightedby a 300 year old hand carved Itali... 

More Details

$2,995,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

42 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17022202 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1936 sqft

This Ansonborough jewel is one of the most charming carriage houses in Charleston. It has been beautifully restored and appointed with an eye for d... 

More Details

$1,594,900
Reduced -$100
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston

17 Radcliffe Place
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 17022154 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1524 sqft

Great Location with UPDATED Charleston Charm. Located on a gorgeous tucked away street in historic downtown Charleston, this updated home built in ... 

More Details

$784,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate

62 Columbus Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17022150 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1945 sqft

ATTENTION INVESTORS: Potential college rental, with 5 bedrooms, living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen, and 3 full baths with tiled showers. 62 ... 

More Details

$875,000
Provided courtesy of Hudson Phillips Properties Charleston LLC

175 Concord
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17022067 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1434 sqft

Charming light filled 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in the desirable French Quarter. Open floor plan with a well designed kitchen with stainless steel ap... 

More Details

$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

150 Bee
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 17021909 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1495 sqft

URBAN THIRD FLOOR CONDOMINIUM IN GREAT LOCATION CLOSE TO MUSC AND OVERLOOKING UPCOMING WESTEDGE DEVELOPMENT. SPACIOUS TWO BEDROOM UNIT WITH NEW HAR... 

More Details

$485,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

45 South Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17021983 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 4277 sqft

Privately situated on one of the most beautiful and desirable streets South of Broad. 45 South Battery is a classic Charleston home with a refined ... 

More Details

$2,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

76 Society Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17021943 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1305 sqft

Well appointed condominium, located within walking distance of acclaimed restaurants, and notable shopping. 76 Society offers fine amenities - incl... 

More Details

$695,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17021708 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1219 sqft

Extraordinary views from this eighth floor condominium at the luxurious Dockside. This renovated and well appointed two-bedroom corner unit offers... 

More Details

$597,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
Residential, Land, Other Disclaimer: p>Broker Reciprocity The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker ReciprocitySM Program of the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Marshall Walker Real Estate are marked with the Broker ReciprocitySM logo or the Broker ReciprocitySM thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Last updated on 08-19-2017 4:02pm est. The broker providing these data believes them to be correct, but advises interested parties to confirm them before relying on them in a purchase decision. Copyright 2017 Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved.
Commercial Sale/Lease: Copyright 2017 South Carolina commercial MLS, Inc. All rights reserved. Last updated on 08-19-2017 4:02pm est.

Any images related to data from the MLS is the sole property of the MLS and not the responsibility of the owner of this website.


This real estate website and IDX data is hosted by Dynamic IDX, LLC

Follow us on