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
Displaying results 1-21 of 3719
19 Photos 78 Queen Charleston, SC 29401

78 Queen
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 20019324 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 260 Sqft

Welcome to 78 Queen Street - Charleston's most Charming, Romantic & highly sought after B&B... The Elliott House Inn! Villa #24 is a Courtyard king... 

More Details

$325,000
Provided courtesy of Beachside Real Estate
42 Photos 65 Gibbes Street Charleston, SC 29401

65 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20019256 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3124 Sqft

This extensively renovated South of Broad home is sure to impress. 65 Gibbes was re-designed and renovated in 2016 by renowned architect Eddie Fav... 

More Details

$2,325,000
Provided courtesy of Beach Residential
37 Photos 87 East Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

87 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20019237 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 2268 Sqft

The James Gordon House. Circa 1780. Fabulous, recently renovated condominium within a grand 18th century Georgian residence. Entry hall elevator or... 

More Details

$1,825,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
45 Photos 4 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

4 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 20019239 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2765 Sqft

What a sophisticated transformation! Recently completed extensive renovation on this late 19c Charleston Single house. Located in the heart of hist... 

More Details

$2,195,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
22 Photos 89 Line Street Charleston, SC 29403

89 Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 20019228 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1084 Sqft

Great location one block from upper King Street and walking distance to numerous shops and restaurants. 1872 historical cottage completely restored... 

More Details

$499,000
Provided courtesy of The Exchange Company, LLC
23 Photos 38 Ashley Avenue UNIT B Charleston, SC 29401

38 Ashley Avenue UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20019214 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1396 Sqft

This beautiful, South of Broad second-floor condominium offers views of the city park Horse Lot and Colonial Lake. You will be delighted with the s... 

More Details

$660,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
27 Photos 85 Line Street Charleston, SC 29403

85 Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 20019157 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1147 Sqft

Beautifully renovated cottage located in the heart of Elliotborough (Short-Term Rental Overlay). This stunning SHORT-TERM RENTAL ELIGIBLE property ... 

More Details

$649,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
25 Photos 143 Bull Street Charleston, SC 29401

143 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20019155 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1888 Sqft

NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK HERE! EVERY BEDROOM HAS A PRIVATE BATH! Located in highly coveted Harleston Village, 143 Bull Street is a student's dream home... 

More Details

$620,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
26 Photos 32 Vendue Range UNIT 300 Charleston, SC 29401

32 Vendue Range UNIT 300
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 20019113 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 477 Sqft

THE BEST location at East Bay & Vendue Range in the French Quarter, between The Market and Broad Street, just steps away from award-winning restaur... 

More Details

$322,000
Provided courtesy of EXP Realty LLC
65 Photos 330 Concord Street UNIT 10h Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street UNIT 10h
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 20019090 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1237 Sqft

This Exquisite and Renovated Modern downtown, Waterfront Condo is the only fully integrated smart home with the low voltage Colorbeam LED lighting ... 

More Details

$1,899,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
67 Photos 25 John Street Charleston, SC 29401

25 John Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 20019085 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2900 Sqft

LOCATION at its best. Historic 1800's Charleston Single located in one of the most desirable neighborhoods downtown and situated on high ground in ... 

More Details

$1,619,000
Provided courtesy of Applegate Real Estate
50 Photos 2 Wharfside Street UNIT 5-W Charleston, SC 29401

2 Wharfside Street UNIT 5-W
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Place
Residential

MLS# 20019062 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2862 Sqft

Unmatched panoramic views of the Charleston Harbor, Arthur Ravenel Bridge and beyond to the Atlantic await you at 5W, a sleek and elegant minimalis... 

More Details

$3,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
6 Photos 33 Lockwood UNIT H16 Charleston, SC 29401

33 Lockwood UNIT H16
Charleston, SC 29401
The Harborage At Ashley Marina
Residential

MLS# 20019004 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, 900 Sqft

Great opportunity, great location! 50' Slip H-16 offers easy ingress and egress and is a fantastic location in the Ashley Marina! Established rent... 

More Details

$60,000
Provided courtesy of Front Door Realty
24 Photos 23 Felix Street Charleston, SC 29403

23 Felix Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 20018981 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2265 Sqft

Move-in ready Charleston single-style home with 3 outdoor living spaces - including a rooftop patio - within walking distance of downtown Charlesto... 

More Details

$1,090,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
1 Photos 81 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

81 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20018958 / Active Contingent
6 br, 5 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2877 Sqft

limited business zoned STR triplex  

More Details

$1,675,000
Provided courtesy of Tift Properties
12 Photos 32 Vendue Range UNIT 404 Charleston, SC 29401

32 Vendue Range UNIT 404
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 20018896 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 288 Sqft

Located in the heart and soul of Charleston. This quaint studio apartment provides access to all that Charleston has to offer. Walk to the battery,... 

More Details

$236,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
46 Photos 78 Halsey Boulevard Charleston, SC 29401

78 Halsey Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20018747 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3454 Sqft

Located in the heart of Downtown Charleston, 78 Halsey presents a rare opportunity for this Bill Huey + Associates design and Bennett-Hofford built... 

More Details

$2,995,000
Provided courtesy of Beach Residential
25 Photos 31 Hillary Court Charleston, SC 29403

31 Hillary Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 20018733 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1026 Sqft

This two bedroom home is nestled in the heart of Radcliffeborough and close to the medical district and Marion Square, as well as, many shopping an... 

More Details

$505,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
30 Photos 109 East Bay Street UNIT 2b Charleston, SC 29401

109 East Bay Street UNIT 2b
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20018662 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1451 Sqft

Gorgeous 2nd floor loft from 1909 in prime South of Broad location! Located in the historic Printers Row building, this unit has been beautifully ... 

More Details

$920,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
71 Photos 46 Halsey Boulevard Charleston, SC 29401

46 Halsey Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20018640 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4370 Sqft

This is a rare opportunity to own one of the newest built yet oldest looking homes on the peninsula. With unobstructed views of the City Marina Meg... 

More Details

$2,495,000
Provided courtesy of EXP Realty LLC
62 Photos 1 Gray Court Charleston, SC 29401

1 Gray Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20018643 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 2043 Sqft

Welcome to 1 Gray Court which features a 2043sqft main house with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a separate play/office room and 322sqft of covered porches P... 

More Details

$1,050,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group
Residential, Land, Other Disclaimer:

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 07-14-2020 2:03 PM 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 2020 Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved.
Commercial Sale/Lease: Copyright 2020 South Carolina commercial MLS, Inc. All rights reserved. Last updated on 07-14-2020 2:03 PM EST 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