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 4280
52 Photos 2 Laurens Street UNIT 4-E Charleston, SC 29401

2 Laurens Street UNIT 4-E
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 21031458 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4060 Sqft

The largest unit in Anson House, with harbor views from two separate terraces (605+/- sq.ft. total). Well-designed, main living spaces are contiguo... 

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$2,800,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
55 Photos 55 Warren Street Charleston, SC 29403

55 Warren Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 21031394 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1530 Sqft

Great home, great location! If you've been searching for a historic home in downtown Charleston to call your own, then look no further! This gorgeo... 

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$899,999
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
25 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT #319 Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street UNIT #319
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 21031391 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1155 Sqft

One of your last opportunities to own a new home with views of beautiful Gadsdenboro Park! Beloved for unique vistas of both the gorgeous park and ... 

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$969,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
48 Photos 149 Broad Street Charleston, SC 29401

149 Broad Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21031347 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1939 Sqft

Charming circa 1840's carriage house. Beautifully restored, offering a walled garden and off street parking. Desirable South of Broad location, wit... 

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$1,495,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
31 Photos 330 Concord Street UNIT 11 H Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street UNIT 11 H
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 21031317 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1237 Sqft

Strikingly remodeled 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with water views of Charleston Harbor, the Cooper River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Spy Fort Sumter as we... 

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$895,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
33 Photos 3 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

3 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21031215 / Active Contingent
1 br, 1 ba, 484 Sqft

Rarely do you find such a unique opportunity to own a charming, historic Freedman's cottage in downtown Charleston in an area that does not flood! ... 

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$549,000
Provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realty
39 Photos 7 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

7 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 21031098 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1730 Sqft

The two story brick townhouse at 7 Wentworth is located in Ansonborough, which is walkable to many services including the Harris Teeter and a bou... 

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$950,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
19 Photos 55 Society Street UNIT A Charleston, SC 29401

55 Society Street UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 21031079 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1022 Sqft

First floor condo in the historic 1840 former High School of Charleston, one of only 4 units in this iconic Ansonborough building. Enjoy the ideal ... 

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$515,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
27 Photos 343 E Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

343 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 21030876 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1654 Sqft

Circa 1840, this fully restored, renovated and impeccably maintained property is centrally located in the Ansonborough neighborhood on the Charlest... 

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$1,100,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
52 Photos 3 Montagu Court Charleston, SC 29401

3 Montagu Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21030857 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1460 Sqft

This charming home is located in a historic enclave of homes in highly sought after Harleston Village. The owners have meticulously renovated from ... 

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$925,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
31 Photos 45b Morris Street Charleston, SC 29403

45b Morris Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 21030779 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1449 Sqft

This downtown residence is in a fabulous location in the the Radcliff neighborhood. It comes with a private driveway for 2 cars. The home is spacio... 

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$685,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate Services
41 Photos 55 Ashley Avenue UNIT #22 Charleston, SC 29401

55 Ashley Avenue UNIT #22
Charleston, SC 29401
Baker House
Residential

MLS# 21030768 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1794 Sqft

This light and airy Baker House penthouse with parking is conveniently situated at the corner of Ashley Avenue and Beaufain Street. The move-in rea... 

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$875,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
41 Photos 166 1/2 Queen Street Charleston, SC 29401

166 1/2 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Residential

MLS# 21030751 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1302 Sqft

This charming downtown townhouse is just the spot you've been dreaming about calling home! The bright and spacious inside has fresh new paint and r... 

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$650,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
39 Photos 3 Corinne Street UNIT B Charleston, SC 29403

3 Corinne Street UNIT B
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 21030826 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1449 Sqft

Lovely townhouse located 2 blocks from the Upper King Street Design and Restaurant district and walking distance to College of Charleston and MUSC.... 

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$735,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
29 Photos 48 1/2 Montagu Street UNIT A Charleston, SC 29401

48 1/2 Montagu Street UNIT A
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21030703 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1800 Sqft

Enjoy all the benefits of living in historic downtown Charleston without the hassle of maintaining a historic home. This slightly elevated townhome... 

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$875,000
Provided courtesy of Dunes Properties of Mt. Pleasant
22 Photos 250 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

250 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 21030699 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1270 Sqft

Welcome to traditional meets NEW. This adorable Charleston single with double piazzas was built in 2011 and has all of the modern day amenities ro... 

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$675,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
25 Photos 55 Hasell Street UNIT E Charleston, SC 29401

55 Hasell Street UNIT E
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 21030544 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 588 Sqft

Located in historic Ansonborough with secure gated entrance this one bedroom dependency features a private porch nestled under a grand live oak tre... 

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$510,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
93 Photos 62 S Battery Street Charleston, SC 29401

62 S Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21030533 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 5848 Sqft

Circa 1837. The Winborn Lawton House. Surrounded by history, this exquisitely finished South of Broad property was recently restored, offering 4 sp... 

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$4,700,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
31 Photos 179 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

179 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21030529 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2210 Sqft

Wow! Beautifully and thoughtfully renovated circa 1840 Charleston Single house. Special attention to every detail, maximum use of space, careful se... 

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$1,689,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
34 Photos 182 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

182 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 21030506 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1489 Sqft

Charming Charleston single 4 blocks from King Street,4 blocks from MUSC,6 blocks from College of Charleston! Beautiful heart pine floors, updated k... 

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$649,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
84 Photos 27 Gadsden Street Charleston, SC 29401

27 Gadsden Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21030473 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2640 Sqft

Welcome home to 27 Gadsden Street! This two story Charleston single home is located in the heart of the Harleston Village. Within a short distance ... 

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$1,425,000
Provided courtesy of Marshall Walker Real Estate
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