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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21 America
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17008708 / Active
5 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1792 sqft

Great single family home that rents for 3,500 a month. Great investment or family home. Recently renovated. 

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$435,000
Provided courtesy of Drayton Real Estate.Com

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17008736 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1580 sqft

Nestled among the townhouses painted in pastel colors reminiscent of charleston's rainbow row, is dockside townhouse 4. This bright 2 bedroom, 2 1/... 

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$535,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

9 Gadsden Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17008772 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 2452 sqft

Triplex - currently rents for $5850 per month. 

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$1,000,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

249 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 17008774 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1932 sqft

Off-street gated parking for 5 in front and private walled courtyard in back bricked patio garden. Walk to musc and all the new upcoming restaurant... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Classic Charleston Properties LLC

20 Ascot Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 17008602 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2386 sqft

Priced to sell! Turn key townhouse within walking distance to musc and c fo c in sought after harleston green. This townhouse is one of the larger ... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Belser Thompson Real Estate

5 Jasper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffborough
Residential

MLS# 17008645 / Active
5 br, 2 ba, 1640 sqft

This five-bedroom rental close to the college of charleston, musc, and king street has an excellent rental history, and presents a good opportunity... 

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$595,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

18 Duncan Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17008668 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 894 sqft

Location, location, location!!! This charming charleston cottage sits off of duncan st and features at least two off street parking spots, and a sm... 

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$519,000
Provided courtesy of Southeastern Property Group

70 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17008571 / Active
5 br, 2 ba, 1724 sqft

Great investment opportunity in fantastic location...Large lot with potential buildable lot...Permit in hand for removal of tree and shed in back..... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Jordan Realty

295 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17008597 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1041 sqft

Renovated two-bedroom condo in 2013 located in the fashion district of king street. Located above the trendy woman's boutique, v2v, the unit is qui... 

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$539,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

10 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17008465 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1555 sqft

Multiple offer situation. Offer deadline 3/29/17 5:00 pm 10 elizabeth is a lovely home in the charleston single style ready for occupancy. Just dow... 

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$567,000
Provided courtesy of Jim Bobo Real Estate

55 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Baker House
Residential

MLS# 17008355 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1294 sqft

''the baker house'' newly renovated 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. The baker house affords the convenience of downtown living set within quiet residential... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Sadler Group of Charleston LLC

58 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17008616 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 2234 sqft

Great opportunity for a beautiful home just waiting to be renovated. Located in the coveted south of broad area, the home is set back from the stre... 

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$849,000
Reduced -$30,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.

33 Lockwood Drive
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 17008220 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, 900 sqft

Slip e-06 is a 50' x 18' slip at the harborage at ashley marina. This is full service marina with high speed diesel pumps, gas pumps, pump out sta... 

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$52,500
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

59 South Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17008018 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2688 sqft

This is a fantastic opportunity to own a beautiful fitzsimons townhome in pristine condition. Perfectly located south of broad, this home is move-i... 

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$1,850,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

150 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 17007972 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1164 sqft

Location, location, location, bee street lofts is the best address in downtown charleston, located inside the crosstown in zip code 29401. Gated,... 

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$388,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate

91 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17007887 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 3294 sqft

Immaculate, large home in charleston's hottest neighborhood. Built by current owners in 2001, this pristine home has just been entirely painted in... 

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$1,245,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

3 Chisolm Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17007898 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1905 sqft

Beautiful condominium in the main building of historic 3 chisolm street, located south of broad in downtown charleston, sc. The striking large-scal... 

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$1,200,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

44 Charlotte Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17007746 / Active Contingent
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1238 sqft

Charm. Elegance. Modern convenience. History. Location. Privacy. You will have it all with the exquisite kitchen house at the houston house. This t... 

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$698,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston West Ashley

19 Radcliffe Place
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 17007687 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1636 sqft

Centrally located & 2 blocks from king street's best shopping & dining, with close proximity to musc, chs school of law, cofc and the ravenel brid... 

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$629,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC

24 Charlotte Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 17007678 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1559 sqft

Located on charlotte st. The most attractive street in wraggborough. This recently updated 1910 victorian,top floor condo has 3 brs & 3 baths in 1,... 

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$585,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty

315 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 17007862 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1456 sqft

Located in the center of everything, this immaculate and stylish condo exudes modern elegance. Built circa 1850, the davidson lofts is an urban, ab... 

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$1,100,000
Provided courtesy of Dunes Properties of Chas Inc

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