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 3773
37 Photos 26 State Street Charleston, SC 29401

26 State Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 21009550 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1850 Sqft

Behind the Iron Gates in the HISTORIC FRENCH QUARTER, this serene retreat is a HOME that warms the heart and captivates the soul. Built in 1841, i... 

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$1,675,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston Premier Properties
16 Photos 206 Passerelle Court Charleston, SC 29401

206 Passerelle Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21009533 / Active
3 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3983 Sqft

Brilliant opportunity at The Charles for Charleston's only new construction waterfront residences in the Historic District. Overlooking the Ashley ... 

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$5,100,000
Provided courtesy of Beach Residential
16 Photos 222 Passerelle Court Charleston, SC 29401

222 Passerelle Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21009538 / Active
2 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3700 Sqft

Brilliant opportunity at The Charles for Charleston's only new construction waterfront residences in the Historic District. Overlooking the Ashley ... 

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$4,625,000
Provided courtesy of Beach Residential
16 Photos 213 Passerelle Court Charleston, SC 29401

213 Passerelle Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21009524 / Active
2 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3550 Sqft

Brilliant opportunity at The Charles for Charleston's only new construction waterfront residences in the Historic District. Overlooking the Ashley ... 

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$3,910,000
Provided courtesy of Beach Residential
11 Photos 14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 11 L Charleston, SC 29401

14 Lockwood Drive UNIT 11 L
Charleston, SC 29401
Ashley House
Residential

MLS# 21009467 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 508 Sqft

Spacious condominium located on the 11th floor of the Ashley House overlooking the Ashley River and the Marina. Panoramic views. Fully updated kitc... 

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$229,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
21 Photos 264 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

264 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 21009410 / Active
8 br, 4 ba, 3712 Sqft

Peninsula of Charleston, below Crosstown location. 4 two bedroom, one bath, separately metered units available for sale. Total 8 bedrooms, 4 baths,... 

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$1,100,000
Provided courtesy of The Peninsula Company, LLC
17 Photos 52 S Battery Street UNIT G Charleston, SC 29401

52 S Battery Street UNIT G
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21009416 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 872 Sqft

This wonderful condominium is situated in a fabulous location on South Battery in the highly coveted South of Broad neighborhood. The two-bedroom c... 

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$500,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
36 Photos 110& 110.5 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

110& 110.5 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21009339 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3464 Sqft

*Off Street Parking Available * This gorgeous home with carriage house is offered 200k below last appraisal. 5 beds, 4 1/2 baths. Built in the 1800... 

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$2,445,000
Provided courtesy of iSave Realty
35 Photos 77 Pitt Street Charleston, SC 29403

77 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 21009327 / Active
10 br, 5 ba, 4300 Sqft

Fantastic property with tremendous rental history grossing 142,200 in annual income/ / insurance 11,850.00/ property taxes/ 20,562.00 / with lease... 

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$1,675,000
Provided courtesy of Tift Properties
61 Photos 275 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

275 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 21009288 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1072 Sqft

Location, location, location! Just a few short blocks from MUSC, the colleges, medical facilities, shopping and dining, you can enjoy downtown Char... 

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$565,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
29 Photos 9 Bogard Street UNIT 6 (F) Charleston, SC 29403

9 Bogard Street UNIT 6 (F)
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 21009242 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1310 Sqft

Great Opportunity to Own Your Own Charleston Investment. Block and half away from King St. Unit 6 (F) includes New HVAC Unit (4 years), Beautiful H... 

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$489,900
Reduced -$10,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
44 Photos 8 Council Street Charleston, SC 29401

8 Council Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21009246 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1418 Sqft

Beautifully renovated and tastefully decorated move in ready Charleston single on one of South of Broad's most charming streets! Perfect as a prima... 

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$1,000,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group
58 Photos 10 Colonial Street Charleston, SC 29401

10 Colonial Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21009188 / Active Contingent
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3186 Sqft

This picturesque 4 bedroom/3.5 bath South of Broad home has been meticulously updated and maintained. Well located near Colonial Lake Park and the ... 

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$1,350,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
36 Photos 11 Kirkland Lane Charleston, SC 29401

11 Kirkland Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21009161 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1414 Sqft

Charleston Downtown Charmer is in a great location just off King, near Colonial lake, College of Charleston, MUSC and just a few yards down to a s... 

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$543,775
Provided courtesy of Century 21 Properties Plus
32 Photos 50 Morris Street Charleston, SC 29403

50 Morris Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 21009152 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1410 Sqft

Situated on a quaint street flanked by MUSC, as well as the College of Charleston, the location is prime. The neighborhood is known for its swanky ... 

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$850,000
Provided courtesy of Bennett Construction & Realty
31 Photos 214 Calhoun Street UNIT #3 Charleston, SC 29401

214 Calhoun Street UNIT #3
Charleston, SC 29401
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 21009137 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1031 Sqft

This unit is one of seven condominiums located in the circa 1834 Frederick Shaffer House. Soaring 13' ceilings with elegant period plasterwork, ori... 

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$568,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
57 Photos 92 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

92 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21009061 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3104 Sqft

Restoration opportunity located South of Broad. This stucco over solid brick residence features high ceilings, hardwood floors and exposed brick w... 

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$2,100,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
43 Photos 38 Gibbes Street Charleston, SC 29401

38 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South of Broad
Residential

MLS# 21008938 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1938 Sqft

South of Broad's most charming bungalow, this home sits at the corner of Council and Gibbes Street, only one block from Charleston's lovely waterfr... 

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$975,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
17 Photos 230 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

230 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 21009029 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 946 Sqft

Charming newly renovated condo in a lovely building circa 1900 just above Spring St. Off street parking and you can walk everywhere! Just a few blo... 

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$435,000
Provided courtesy of Arthur Ravenel Jr. Co.
47 Photos 233 Ashley Avenue UNIT A & B Charleston, SC 29403

233 Ashley Avenue UNIT A & B
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 21008957 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2889 Sqft

LICENSED B&B! Built in 1852, this home just underwent a full ''to the studs'' renovation completed in AUGUST 2020. This 5BR/5.5BA gem is a MUST SEE... 

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$1,575,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC
62 Photos 75 Bull Street Charleston, SC 29401

75 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 21008910 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2240 Sqft

For the discerning buyer seeking a handsome, completely updated, traditional masonry home in Historic Downtown Charleston, 75 Bull Street presents ... 

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$1,300,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
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