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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Displaying results 1-21 of 5342
19 Photos 21 George Street UNIT #207 Charleston, SC 29401

21 George Street UNIT #207
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 24013373 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1250 Sqft

Rare 2 BR condo with en suite full baths, recently renovated in a perfect downtown Charleston location, and with two off street parking places. New... 

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$1,225,000
Provided courtesy of Sell Your Home Services, LLC
55 Photos 3 1/2 Doughty Street Charleston, SC 29403

3 1/2 Doughty Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 24013346 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1922 Sqft

Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, this meticulously renovated 1890s home offers a unique blend of timeless elegance and modern ... 

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$2,175,000
Provided courtesy of Agent Group Realty Charleston
53 Photos 116 Rutledge Avenue UNIT A Charleston, SC 29401

116 Rutledge Avenue UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 24013247 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1780 Sqft

Nestled in the prestigious Haleston Green community, this stunning and spacious townhouse offers a perfect blend of luxury and comfort in the heart... 

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$1,245,000
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
38 Photos 79 Society Street UNIT E Charleston, SC 29401

79 Society Street UNIT E
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 24013196 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1356 Sqft

Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, this enchanting two-bedroom residence on the picturesque second floor offers an exquisite ble... 

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$999,000
Provided courtesy of Akers Ellis Real Estate LLC
57 Photos 42 South Battery Charleston, SC 29401

42 South Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 24013163 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 4325 Sqft

Experience the prestige of living at the Robert Murray House, located on South Battery in the renowned South of Broad neighborhood in downtown Char... 

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$5,800,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
38 Photos 14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 9e Charleston, SC 29401

14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 9e
Charleston, SC 29401
Ashley House
Residential

MLS# 24013138 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1061 Sqft

The incredible views from this high-rise condominium will take your breath away! From the large picture window in the living room, you'll enjoy stu... 

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$489,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
26 Photos 80 Society Street UNIT B Charleston, SC 29401

80 Society Street UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 24013126 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 437 Sqft

This 2nd floor studio condo is nestled within a stunning antebellum mansion in the heart of downtown Charleston. Located mere steps from the vibran... 

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$399,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston West Ashley
40 Photos 197 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

197 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 24013007 / Active Contingent
4 br, 2 ba, 2352 Sqft

Welcome to 197 Rutledge Avenue! This quintessential, circa 1850's, Charleston single, is centrally located in the heart of Historic Downtown and bo... 

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$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of RE/MAX FullSail, LLC
15 Photos 609 King Street UNIT #630 Charleston, SC 29403

609 King Street UNIT #630
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 24012995 / Active
2 br, 3 ba, 2199 Sqft

Coming in 2026! The Peninsula of Charleston is an ownership-model, continuing care retirement community (CCRC) on highly desirable upper King Stree... 

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$3,051,300
Provided courtesy of Peninsula of Charleston R.E.
15 Photos 609 King Street UNIT #532 Charleston, SC 29403

609 King Street UNIT #532
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 24012997 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1961 Sqft

Coming in 2026! The Peninsula of Charleston is an ownership-model, continuing care retirement community (CCRC) on highly desirable upper King Stree... 

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$2,379,200
Provided courtesy of Peninsula of Charleston R.E.
61 Photos 167 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

167 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 24012958 / Active
6 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2370 Sqft

Located in the heart of Radcliffeborough, this 6 bedroom property offers numerous possibilities and is being sold FULLY FURNISHED. Previously opera... 

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$1,849,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
48 Photos 2 Wharfside Street UNIT 4c Charleston, SC 29401

2 Wharfside Street UNIT 4c
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Place
Residential

MLS# 24012899 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2509 Sqft

Welcome to this fourth-floor waterfront condominium at Lauren's Place. Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, this beautiful building is next... 

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$1,495,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
15 Photos 36 Bennett Street Charleston, SC 29401

36 Bennett Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 24012834 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 2191 Sqft

This wonderful home in the charming Harleston Village neighborhood welcomes you with an expansive full-front porch. This property features a light-... 

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$1,389,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
49 Photos 5 Middle Atlantic Wharf UNIT 3a Charleston, SC 29401

5 Middle Atlantic Wharf UNIT 3a
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 24012798 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3185 Sqft

Factors Walk: the best there is in location, style, and maintenance-free luxury. Designed by Goff D'antonio Architects with historic Charleston as ... 

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$4,500,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
35 Photos 21 Limehouse Street Charleston, SC 29401

21 Limehouse Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 24012737 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2206 Sqft

Don't miss this rare opportunity to own a thoughtfully renovated South Of Broad home with incredible attention to detail and high quality finishes.... 

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$2,950,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
51 Photos 169 King Street UNIT #102 Charleston, SC 29401

169 King Street UNIT #102
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 24012605 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1653 Sqft

Step into history with this exquisite condo located in the heart of the Lower King Street antique district! Circa 1840's, 169 King St 102 is a char... 

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$2,495,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
60 Photos 24 Barre Street Charleston, SC 29401

24 Barre Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 24012578 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2576 Sqft

In the heart of Harleston Village, 24 Barre Street offers the perfect blend of Luxury, convenience, location, and privacy, within walking distance ... 

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$1,875,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
33 Photos 150 Bee Street UNIT #708 Charleston, SC 29401

150 Bee Street UNIT #708
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 24012678 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 964 Sqft

Welcome to Bee Street Lofts! This sophisticated 1 bed/1.5 bath luxury condo brings big city urban style to downtown Charleston. Located on Bee St n... 

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$469,900
Provided courtesy of The Charleston Property Company
36 Photos 40 S Battery Street Charleston, SC 29401

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

MLS# 24012525 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3063 Sqft

Introducing an unparalleled gem nestled in the esteemed ''South of Broad'' enclave, a historic residence exuding timeless elegance. Perfectly sited... 

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$2,795,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
34 Photos 14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 2d Charleston, SC 29401

14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 2d
Charleston, SC 29401
Ashley House
Residential

MLS# 24012528 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1053 Sqft

Welcome to this exquisite 2-bedroom, 2-full bathroom condo nestled in the established Ashley House. This home is ideally positioned within walking/... 

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$540,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Flat Fee Real Estate
48 Photos 85 Cumberland Street UNIT P1 Charleston, SC 29401

85 Cumberland Street UNIT P1
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 24012494 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 862 Sqft

Lovely and practical dual-level penthouse with tons of natural light, outdoor space and historic Charleston charm. Everything you are looking for -... 

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$885,000
Provided courtesy of Flat Rate Real Estate
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