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 4575
27 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 22017006 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 747 Sqft

Want to Live-in the most sought after living in Charleston, walk to all restaurants, churches, historical Charleston, across from Park. Private roo... 

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$790,000
Provided courtesy of Premier Coastal Real Estate
17 Photos 259 East Bay St UNIT 3 A Charleston, SC 29401

259 East Bay St UNIT 3 A
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 22017003 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 636 Sqft

Amazing location! First floor condo that is close to all that downtown Charleston has to offer. It is a short walk to Market St and some of the be... 

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$330,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
50 Photos 330 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 22017049 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1121 Sqft

From the time you enter Dockside, you are immediately ''welcomed'' home! Conveniently located in Downtown Charleston between the South Carolina Aq... 

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$600,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
24 Photos 67 Spring Street UNIT A Charleston, SC 29403

67 Spring Street UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 22016948 / Active Contingent
2 br, 1 ba, 894 Sqft

Great opportunity! Great Location!! Historic Charleston Single Tucked Off of Spring Street. As you stroll down the brick walkway it opens up to ... 

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$680,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
24 Photos 179 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

179 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 22016757 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2096 Sqft

Zoned general business, this property is the perfect place for either commercial or residential uses. A legal duplex with separate meters for each ... 

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$999,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
35 Photos 14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 2 D Charleston, SC 29401

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

MLS# 22016626 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1053 Sqft

Spacious updated condominium with southern exposure. 24 hour security. Panoramic views of Ashley River and the Charleston MegaDock and Charleston C... 

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$439,500
Reduced -$10,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
39 Photos 173 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

173 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Rutledge Green
Residential

MLS# 22016682 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1158 Sqft

Beautifully, well-maintained, and move in ready townhouse on Rutledge Ave within walking distance of MUSC, Roper, CofC, King St, Marion Square, and... 

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$465,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
73 Photos 79 Anson Street Charleston, SC 29401

79 Anson Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 22016161 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 3 Half Bath, 6715 Sqft

This 2021 Carolopolis Award winning home is truly a treasure. Through the combined efforts of the owners, Architect Glen Keyes, Landscape Architect... 

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$5,700,000
Provided courtesy of Read & Read Inc. REALTORS
26 Photos 30 South Street Charleston, SC 29403

30 South Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 22016209 / Active Contingent
5 br, 2 ba, 1252 Sqft

Welcome to 30 South Street! A historic Duplex located in the heart of Charleston's East Side. This duplex built-in 1890 Has just undergone extensiv... 

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$534,900
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate
31 Photos 175 Wentworth Street UNIT A Charleston, SC 29401

175 Wentworth Street UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 22016092 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1604 Sqft

Rare first floor flat loaded with historic charm and carefully blended with modern conveniences. Inside you will enjoy a spacious floor plan with h... 

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$798,500
Provided courtesy of Charleston Flat Fee Real Estate
27 Photos 377 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

377 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 22015993 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 865 Sqft

Don't miss this beautifully renovated 2 bed 1 bath condo just off the corner of King and Calhoun Streets and only steps away from Marion Square, Fr... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of Healthy Realty LLC
12 Photos 53 Hasell Street UNIT C Charleston, SC 29401

53 Hasell Street UNIT C
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 22015955 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 516 Sqft

It would be difficult to find a better location than 53 Hasell- conveniently located within walking distance to musuems, restaurants, The Gaillard... 

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$365,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Realty, LLC
22 Photos 53 Hasell Street UNIT B Charleston, SC 29401

53 Hasell Street UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 22016266 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 500 Sqft

Charleston charm at its finest! Location could not be any sweeter than the City's historic district. With gated off-street parking, 53 Hasell St. ... 

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$379,000
Provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
66 Photos 93 Lenwood Boulevard Charleston, SC 29401

93 Lenwood Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22015960 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 3 Half Bath, 3616 Sqft

A charming historic home that's perfect for gracious living & entertaining. Thirteen ft ceilings, elegant woodwork, 6 working gas fireplaces, origi... 

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$2,695,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
71 Photos 9 Orange Street Charleston, SC 29401

9 Orange Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22015846 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 2 Half Bath, 4103 Sqft

Rare opportunity to own an exquisite piece of Charleston history! Perched on high ground along one of Charleston's most beloved and private streets... 

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$5,800,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
27 Photos 26 Catfiddle Street Charleston, SC 29403

26 Catfiddle Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 22015973 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1141 Sqft

Catfiddle Street is a neighborhood development within the historic downtown neighborhood of Cannonborough Elliottborough. 26 Catfiddle combines m... 

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$737,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
13 Photos 31 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

31 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22015692 / Active Contingent
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1150 Sqft

This charming South of Broad two bedroom end unit residence is positioned in the perfect central location between the iconic Horse Lot Park and Col... 

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$749,000
Provided courtesy of Island House Real Estate
34 Photos 17 Sires Street Charleston, SC 29403

17 Sires Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 22015693 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2050 Sqft

Welcome to 17 Sires Street also known as ''The Church'' located in the vibrant Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood in downtown Charleston, SC.... 

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$1,400,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
30 Photos 55 Morris Street UNIT B Charleston, SC 29403

55 Morris Street UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 22015733 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1449 Sqft

Charming, fully renovated 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath home with an ideal location in the Radcliffeborough neighborhood, perfect for a full-time or part-tim... 

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$995,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
46 Photos 45 E Bay Street UNIT C Charleston, SC 29401

45 E Bay Street UNIT C
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22015659 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2855 Sqft

This sophisticated penthouse condominium is located in the Somersall-DeSaussure House at 45 East Bay Street. It has been expertly renovated with re... 

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$3,500,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
61 Photos 3 Chisolm Street UNIT #402 Charleston, SC 29401

3 Chisolm Street UNIT #402
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22015949 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1920 Sqft

The most unique luxury condo has finally hit the market in Charleston! 3 Chisolm truly has the 'WOW' factor you've been searching for. This 3 story... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of Deseta Realty Group LLC
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