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 3544
44 Photos 135 S Battery Charleston, SC 29401

135 S Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20009501 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4659 Sqft

Set back from the street under the canopy of a gorgeous live oak, this brick Georgian Revival-style home situated on a double lot radiates classic ... 

More Details

$3,450,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
56 Photos 5 Sires Street Charleston, SC 29403

5 Sires Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20009412 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2027 Sqft

You can finally have that Historic Charleston home you've always wanted within a very short walking distance to so many places of entertainment and... 

More Details

$625,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate
28 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 20009293 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1259 Sqft

This gorgeous, brand new corner residence at The Gadsden boasts oversized windows overlooking Gadsdenboro Park and the Ravenel Bridge. With one of ... 

More Details

$1,023,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
29 Photos 178 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

178 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20009267 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1346 Sqft

Come see this beautiful historic home located in the heart of Elliotborough! This recently renovated 1859 Charleston single features 3 spacious bed... 

More Details

$620,000
Provided courtesy of Southern Shores Real Estate Group, LLC
34 Photos 81 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

81 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20009248 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1600 Sqft

Welcome to 81 Ashley Ave! This restored & renovated condominium in the heart of Harleston Village is one block from beautiful Colonial Lake & has y... 

More Details

$499,999
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
24 Photos 259 East Bay Street UNIT 8 A Charleston, SC 29401

259 East Bay Street UNIT 8 A
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 20009053 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 636 Sqft

Spacious condominium on first floor. Fully updated with tile, hardwoods and carpet. New HVAC split system. Off street parking, security and swimmin... 

More Details

$289,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
55 Photos 243 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

243 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20008891 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 3093 Sqft

Rare Bed and Breakfast for sale inside of the crosstown. This house has held a Bed and Breakfast license from the city of Charleston for the last ... 

More Details

$1,300,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Preferred Group
13 Photos 146 Coming Street UNIT B Charleston, SC 29403

146 Coming Street UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29403
West Court
Residential

MLS# 20008800 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 761 Sqft

2BR 1BA Bottom Floor condo -Great location within easy walking distance of MUSC and C of C and only a few blocks off King St.! Unit includes Privat... 

More Details

$325,000
Provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
9 Photos 230 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

230 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20008626 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1021 Sqft

A chance to be close to everything! This condo conversion offers the ambience of classic Charleston architecture including high ceilings, heart pi... 

More Details

$369,000
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate
15 Photos 201 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

201 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20008624 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1800 Sqft

A very livable home in the most convenient neighborhood. Walk to MUSC and Roper Hospital. Walk to neighborhood eateries. This home was updated in... 

More Details

$745,000
Provided courtesy of King and Society Real Estate
25 Photos 51 S Battery Street UNIT 1/2 Charleston, SC 29401

51 S Battery Street UNIT 1/2
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20008604 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1920 Sqft

Circa 1830's this 1920 sq ft (approx.) home is located in a prime area of the historic Charleston peninsula. Perfectly situated on renowned South B... 

More Details

$1,649,000
Provided courtesy of LISTWITHFREEDOM.COM INC
55 Photos 29 Broad Street UNIT C Charleston, SC 29401

29 Broad Street UNIT C
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 20008577 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2650 Sqft

As featured in the Post and Courier Located on prestigious and Historic Broad street downtown near the corner of East Bay, this opportunity is for... 

More Details

$2,825,000
Provided courtesy of Robertson Howland Properties
33 Photos 175 Concord Street UNIT 103 Charleston, SC 29401

175 Concord Street UNIT 103
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 20008462 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1443 Sqft

Convenient French Quarter location across from The Cooper luxury hotel under construction adding new upscale amenities including a rooftop lounge,... 

More Details

$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate
32 Photos 58 Gibbes Street Charleston, SC 29401

58 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20008434 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2793 Sqft

Copy Link for walkthrough video. https://vimeo.com/404630577 This South of Broad home with 4 Bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths is almost ready for you to c... 

More Details

$1,895,000
Provided courtesy of Robertson Howland Properties
18 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT 306 Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT 306
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 20008533 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 822 Sqft

If you are looking for a turn-key package in the City voted No. 1 in the US, this third floor condo delivers it all! Wake up with the sunrise on yo... 

More Details

$615,000
Provided courtesy of ERA Wilder Realty Inc
21 Photos 13 Gibbes Street Charleston, SC 29401

13 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 20008366 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2 Half Bath, 2812 Sqft

Great location tucked away South of Broad with privacy fence surrounding the property. Beautiful open living areas. Spacious family room with gas... 

More Details

$1,950,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
16 Photos 2 President Place Charleston, SC 29403

2 President Place
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 20008334 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1750 Sqft

Duplex and vacant lot! This is an excellent opportunity to own an income producing property in downtown Charleston as both units are currently leas... 

More Details

$850,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
29 Photos 76 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

76 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20008329 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2023 Sqft

1890 Charleston Single in immaculate move-in condition! Has an additional study,playroom,nursery room upstairs. Off street parking for 2 cars. The... 

More Details

$739,900
Provided courtesy of RE/MAX Pro Realty
28 Photos 46-48 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29401

46-48 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 20008064 / Active
12 br, 6 ba, 3 Half Bath, 12610 Sqft

Excellent development opportunity in Harleston Village. 46-48 Smith Street is a beautiful old property consisting of .59 acres with 5 buildings: a ... 

More Details

$2,800,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
38 Photos 1 King Street UNIT 104 Charleston, SC 29401

1 King Street UNIT 104
Charleston, SC 29401
Fort Sumter House
Residential

MLS# 20008157 / Active
1 br, 2 ba, 1063 Sqft

This exquisite Charleston pied-a-terre is an extraordinary residence. It is located in the most prestigious neighborhood South of The Battery with ... 

More Details

$998,500
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
23 Photos 192 E Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

192 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 20008105 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1303 Sqft

This gorgeous condo was gutted by the previous owner and rebuilt from the studs outward. The floors are historical hardwoods as well as the firepla... 

More Details

$819,000
Provided courtesy of Wondracek Realty 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 04-06-2020 7:01 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 04-06-2020 7:01 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