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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44 Rose Lane
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 17014754 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1040 sqft

This well maintained, upgraded home inside the Crosstown features a spacious floor plan and two off-street parking spaces. The owner added a front ... 

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$399,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

56 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014487 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2029 sqft

56 Dereef Court within The Gathering at Morris Square, an exciting new urban neighborhood in prime location with close proximity to Upper King Stre... 

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$759,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

11 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 17014490 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1852 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

38 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014497 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1852 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$779,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

36 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014496 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1425 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$579,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

59 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014488 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1869 sqft

59 Dereef Court within The Gathering at Morris Square, an exciting new urban neighborhood in prime location with close proximity to Upper King Stre... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

26 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014491 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1869 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

28 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014492 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1541 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

30 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014493 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1425 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

More Details

$579,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

32 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014494 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2029 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

34 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014495 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1541 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

62 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014498 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2029 sqft

The Gathering at Morris Square is an exciting new development in the heart of Charleston's Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood and a very shor... 

More Details

$775,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

61 Dereef Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Morris Square
Residential

MLS# 17014489 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1390 sqft

61 Dereef Court within The Gathering at Morris Square, an exciting new urban neighborhood in prime location with close proximity to Upper King Stre... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate

2 Wharfside Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Place
Residential

MLS# 17014464 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 2176 sqft

Welcome to 2 Wharfside Street, unit 4A! This stunning condo within prestigious Laurens Place, is truly the epitome of elegance and grace accompanie... 

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$1,250,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

188 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17014465 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2574 sqft

area as well as family style living for easy entertaining. Upstairs has a lovely master bedroom suite as well as two additional bedrooms. One se... 

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$1,300,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

31 Hillary Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffborough
Residential

MLS# 17014366 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1026 sqft

Perfectly located home, tucked into the Morris Square section of historic Radcliffeborough. The contemporary open floor plan boasts hardwood floors... 

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$490,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

13 Logan Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17014466 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 3765 sqft

Historic 1865 Home. One of the original homes on street. Walk to Battery. Best Location. Onsite Parking&Room for a Pool! Full 2 story South of Broa... 

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$1,775,000
Provided courtesy of Mary Ann Meyers Charleston Realty Inc.

174 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17014346 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1631 sqft

South of Broad pied-a-terre perfection! Unique top (3rd) floor of the historic Thos. Young House offers both Charleston charm and modern living. ... 

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$680,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC

266 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 17014244 / Active
6 br, 6 ba, 2594 sqft

EXCELLENT DUPLEX - TWO BUILDINGS each has three bedrooms and three baths. Front building originally built in 1852 and fully renovated in 2013. It... 

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$995,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

104 Beaufain Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17014141 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 2452 sqft

Excellent opportunity to live just a stones throw from newly revitalized Colonial Lake. As you enter this classic single, you will find a warm and ... 

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$1,275,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

89 Beaufain Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17014104 / Active
6 br, 5 ba, 2 half bath, 6222 sqft

INCREDIBLE STUCCO MANSION AS SEEN IN ''SOUTHERN CHARM'', BUILT IN 1815 AND BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED 2 YEARS AGO.THIS WILLIAM STEELE HOUSE IS DEEMED ''... 

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$2,795,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

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