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!

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3 Corinne Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 17005171 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1449 sqft

Lovely townhouse located 2 blocks from the upper king street design and restaurant district and walking distance to college of charleston and musc.... 

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$610,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

15 Horlbeck Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17005151 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1260 sqft

Amazing location, location, location. Live in the heart of downtown charleston, right at king street and horlbeck aly. Walking distance to everythi... 

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$489,900
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

50 America Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17005098 / Active Contingent
4 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1942 sqft

This 4 bedroom 2 bath house located in the transitional east side neighborhood offers instant investment income potential and solid return on inves... 

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$405,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC

11 Marion Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffborough
Residential

MLS# 17005118 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1500 sqft

Fantastic charleston single located in the heart of radcliffeborough located directly across from simonton park and morris square. The home has be... 

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$795,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

76 Society Street
Charleston, SC 29401
George And Society
Residential

MLS# 17004935 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1305 sqft

Located in the very heart of the historic district of downtown charleston, this 3rd floor unit is within walking to the amazing restaurants, shoppi... 

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$720,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

49 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004923 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 3477 sqft

An incredible opportunity to own a piece of charleston history. 49 tradd street is also known as the colonel george chicken house and is revered as... 

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$1,874,650
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate

3 Chisolm Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004898 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2858 sqft

This sophisticated south of broad condominium combines elegant classic architectural details with large-scale windows and soaring 14+ foot ceilings... 

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$2,450,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

38 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004971 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3135 sqft

Great location, steps from white point garden with views of the garden and charleston harbor. A distinguishing feature of the exterior of this 189... 

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$1,795,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

47/49 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004998 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2 half bath, 3499 sqft

This is an opportunity to purchase both 47 and 49 street, together. See mls listings 1700xxxx and 170xxx for individual information. A 3477 sq ft... 

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$2,524,750
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate

47 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004932 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 868 sqft

South of broad street gem. Located on highly sought after tradd street. Built in 1820, this historic carriage house is ready for complete renovati... 

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$687,850
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate

27 Chapel Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17004987 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 3302 sqft

Charming duplex in the heart of wraggsborough. 2 bed/1 bath unit on the first floor and 3 bed/3 bath unit on the second and third floors. Classic... 

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$1,225,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group

5 Warren Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 17005220 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 2194 sqft

A great opportunity for a live-work in the heart of the mid-town king street retail district and in close proximity to the college of charleston. T... 

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$929,000
Provided courtesy of Palmetto Commercial Prop, LLC

212 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Radcliffborough
Residential

MLS# 17005435 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1545 sqft

Lovely 2nd floor, circa 1840, 2br 2ba dripping with charleston charm. This property offers an exceptional location. Walk to almost everything: cofc... 

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$500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

65 Vanderhorst Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffborough
Residential

MLS# 17004812 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 530 sqft

This is a just what one is looking for, just a small space in charleston to come here on vacation and/or have rental income property in our beautif... 

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$239,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Preferred Group

1 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Fort Sumter House
Residential

MLS# 17004831 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1086 sqft

Rarely available on the market, an immaculate, turnkey, two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit has come available in the fort sumter house. Located at the... 

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$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

32 Prioleau Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17004698 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1866 sqft

Luxury at one vendue range with sunny exposures and desirable direct garden access. This flat occupies the southwestern corner of the first floor ... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

142 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17004603 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 3851 sqft

Own a piece of charleston history. Beautiful stucco circa 1870 home located on beautiful historic tradd street in the sought after south of broad ... 

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$1,925,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

30 Mary Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Mazyck-wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17004510 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 565 sqft

Upscale, private, downtown living at it's finest! This beautiful first floor condo is located in the heart of downtown charleston, within walking d... 

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$319,900
Provided courtesy of Jeff Cook Real Estate, LLC

212 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 17004549 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1540 sqft

Spacious and bright first floor condo in the heart of downtown charleston. High ceilings, attractive moldings, large windows and old heart pine flo... 

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$500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Markets Gate
Residential

MLS# 17004491 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 396 sqft

Located in charleston's french quarter district, this immaculate 1 bedroom, 1 bath condominium features the upscale conveniences one desires, while... 

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$395,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

150 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 17004490 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 951 sqft

The lowest entry point currently available to bee street lofts. Stainless steel appliances, 10'+ ceilings, polished concrete floors, tiled shower a... 

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$321,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC

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