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 4746
59 Photos 330 Concord Street UNIT 14 A Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street UNIT 14 A
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 22030106 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1121 Sqft

AN INVESTORS TREASURE! A very sophisticated stunner on the 14th floor southern, uninterrupted views to Patriot's Point, Sullivan's Island, Fort Su... 

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$749,900
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
45 Photos 146 Simons Street Charleston, SC 29403

146 Simons Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wagener Terrace
Residential

MLS# 22030094 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1789 Sqft

This is a wonderfully renovated Wagener Terrace home in a great location with a large .19 acre lot bordered by a nature area for extra privacy. Thi... 

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$915,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
7 Photos 5 President Place Charleston, SC 29403

5 President Place
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 22030078 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1880 Sqft

Location, location, location. This Cannonborough-Elliottbourough location is waiting for your complete renovation. The property is within walking d... 

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$799,000
Provided courtesy of The Goodwin Group Inc
35 Photos 13 Colonial Street Charleston, SC 29401

13 Colonial Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22030011 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2970 Sqft

Come and see this recently updated Colonial Revival located steps away from Colonial Lake! Kitchen and Bathrooms all renovated in 2018. When enteri... 

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$1,700,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
3 Photos 11 Iron Forge Alley Charleston, SC 29403

11 Iron Forge Alley
Charleston, SC 29403
City of Charleston
Residential

MLS# 22029883 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1708 Sqft

What once was an actual iron forge in the 1700's, is now this stunning new development of 12 well appointed luxury homes! This development offers 1... 

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$975,000
Increase +$20,000
Provided courtesy of Southwind Realty
1 Photos 13 Iron Forge Charleston, SC 29403

13 Iron Forge
Charleston, SC 29403
City of Charleston
Residential

MLS# 22029888 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1806 Sqft

What once was an actual iron forge in the 1700's, is now this stunning new development of 12 well appointed luxury homes! This development offers 1... 

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$975,000
Provided courtesy of Southwind Realty
13 Photos
Open House: Sat Dec 10th, 11:00am - 1:00pm
151 Wentworth Street UNIT 1b Charleston, SC 29401

151 Wentworth Street UNIT 1b
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 22029879 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 680 Sqft

Own your very own piece of Historic Downtown Charleston! FULLY RENOVATED AND MOVE IN READY WITH A PARKING SPACE INCLUDED! Built in 1849 by Wealthy ... 

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$494,900
Provided courtesy of ERA Wilder Realty
51 Photos 26 Water Street Charleston, SC 29401

26 Water Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22029869 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2 Half Bath, 2476 Sqft

The house was built in 1986 and made to look like a colonial home. Historic architectural details include brick facade with red metal roof and fro... 

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$2,495,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
24 Photos 7 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

7 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 22029751 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1730 Sqft

This gorgeous turn-key, two story brick row home is located in Charleston's most charming neighborhood, Historic Ansonborough. Charleston charm exu... 

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$1,375,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
26 Photos 150 Bee Street UNIT #310 Charleston, SC 29401

150 Bee Street UNIT #310
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 22029701 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2053 Sqft

A rare opportunity! Unit 310 is the finest THREE bedroom at Bee Street Lofts to hit the market in a few years. This updated 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom... 

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$895,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
52 Photos 20 Sheppard Street Charleston, SC 29403

20 Sheppard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 22029873 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1121 Sqft

Unique opportunity to own a special piece of Eastside Charleston history with a modern, updated/refurbished home. Welcome to 20 Sheppard Street! Me... 

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$749,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
3 Photos 33 Lockwood Drive UNIT B-12 Charleston, SC 29401

33 Lockwood Drive UNIT B-12
Charleston, SC 29401
The Harborage at Ashley Marina
Residential

MLS# 22029635 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, 760 Sqft

Great 40 x 18 ft slip. Interior Face-Dock side-tie. No boats on either side of you!!!!The Marina has IPE docks, upgraded electrical to 30 & 50 AMP... 

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$59,500
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate
36 Photos 330 Concord Street UNIT Th19 Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street UNIT Th19
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 22029561 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1670 Sqft

Experience fine waterfront living in this 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse in Dockside Condominiums in downtown Charleston. One of only 5 townhomes th... 

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$1,025,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
53 Photos 118 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

118 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 22029510 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 2259 Sqft

Offered for the first time in 25 years you are invited to consider 118 Smith St. A home that sits on a large lot in the heart of Radcliffeborough a... 

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$1,150,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
27 Photos 169 1/2 Tradd Street Charleston, SC 29401

169 1/2 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22029499 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1719 Sqft

Welcome home to your stunning second floor condo South of Broad. The owner has spared no expense doing a meticulous renovation on this historic pro... 

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$975,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
45 Photos 71 Vanderhorst Street UNIT A, B, C Charleston, SC 29403

71 Vanderhorst Street UNIT A, B, C
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 22029449 / Active
9 br, 4 ba, 3124 Sqft

Calling all investors! This triplex is the perfect opportunity to live in one unit and rent out the other 2. The property has been updated and main... 

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$2,500,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
37 Photos 82 Nassau Street Charleston, SC 29403

82 Nassau Street
Charleston, SC 29403
City of Charleston
Residential

MLS# 22029446 / Active Contingent
4 br, 4 ba, 2416 Sqft

This Historic Charleston home, built in 1870, was completely renovated in 2019. Enjoy all the charm of Charleston architecture, with all the amenit... 

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$895,000
Provided courtesy of Realty One Group Coastal
56 Photos 14 Gadsden Street Charleston, SC 29401

14 Gadsden Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 22029457 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3597 Sqft

Located in Historic Downtown Charleston within the sought after Neighborhood of Harleston Village, is this magnificent 3 Story Charleston Side Hall... 

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$1,795,000
Reduced -$200,000
Provided courtesy of Century 21 Expert Advisors
48 Photos 14 Logan Street Charleston, SC 29401

14 Logan Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22029416 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3507 Sqft

Fine 1870's Charleston single with gracious double piazzas, first floor bedroom with sitting room, an oversized deep and private lot, with the bonu... 

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$3,250,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
22 Photos 33 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

33 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 22029337 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1334 Sqft

This lovely FURNISHED South of Broad two-bedroom end unit townhouse is located across from Colonial Lake and just a few blocks from the Battery, Ra... 

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$715,000
Provided courtesy of Island House Real Estate
42 Photos 96 Queen Street Charleston, SC 29401

96 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 22029202 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1876 Sqft

This fabulous, renovated, turn-key home features 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, and exudes Charleston charm with original heart pine floors, expo... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
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