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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32 Prioleau Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032613 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1866 sqft

This PRIME, Southernmost, top-floor home within ''One Vendue Range'' offers total turnkey luxury. Sun-filled rooms throughout, recently renovated k... 

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$1,895,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

28 Hanover Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 17032682 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2148 sqft

Welcome to 28 Hanover Street, a historic Charleston Single that underwent a complete modern renovation in 2015. Located on a south facing corner i... 

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$605,000
Provided courtesy of RE/Max Elite

126 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032558 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 3 half bath, 3467 sqft

Fabulous location on the southeast corner of Church and Chalmers. This three story masonry building was originally a dry goods store in the early 1... 

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$1,690,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

4 Ascot Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 17032479 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1734 sqft

Location, Location, Location...Welcome to this charming, renovated Harleston Green home perfectly located within walking distance to MUSC, Roper Ho... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

2 Wharfside Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Laurens Marina
Residential

MLS# 17032400 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, n/a sqft

Best boat slip/lift on the Peninsula. Private, secure Marina on the harbor, next to the Maritime Center in Downtown Charleston. Unit #12 dock/slip ... 

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$125,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

9 Montagu Court
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17032262 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 896 sqft

An adorable two bedroom, two bath home located in the highly sought after Harleston Village neighborhood awaits you. This home exudes character fro... 

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$649,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC

58 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 17032336 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2752 sqft

Look no further for a classic home which could become your downtown Charleston residence, rental investment property - or BOTH! With two spacious 2... 

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$1,889,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate

20 Elliott Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031961 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2704 sqft

This beautiful George Gibbs home, constructed Circa 1802, is located in the heart of downtown Charleston within walking distance to the Battery, Wa... 

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$2,250,000
Provided courtesy of ERA Wilder Realty

44 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031920 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2 half bath, 4941 sqft

Exquisite property showcases beautifully proportioned rooms with soaring ceilings, extensive crown molding, original heart pine floors, multiple fi... 

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$3,550,000
Provided courtesy of Historic Properties of Charleston

175 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17032036 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 half bath, 2926 sqft

Fabulous ''French Quarter,'' penthouse level luxury apartment overlooking Charleston Harbor. Just steps away from the best restaurants and Waterfro... 

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$2,595,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 17031867 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1237 sqft

Enjoy views of Charleston Harbor, the Charleston Maritime Center and the downtown cityscape from this 2 bedroom, 2 full bath Dockside condominium. ... 

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$645,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

85 Cumberland Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17031695 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 424 sqft

Market's Gate at 85 Cumberland Street is one of the French Quarter's most desirable condominiums since its complete overhaul in 2007, and Unit 4 is... 

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$430,000
Provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

7 Kracke Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Middleton
Residential

MLS# 17031653 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 787 sqft

A great opportunity to own a slice of downtown Charleston! This two bedroom one bath home located right below the crosstown is freshly painted, alo... 

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$279,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group

60 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031542 / Active
6 br, 4 ba, 2 half bath, 6065 sqft

A Charleston Landmark - Imagine, within the walls of the four-story mansion situated at the northeast corner of Tradd and Meeting Streets, a Pre-Re... 

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$4,000,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

32 Vendue Range
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 17031592 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 288 sqft

French Quarter living at a must see price. This ''pied a terre'' condo is perfect for a working professional, a student at College of Charleston o... 

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$225,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

251 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough
Residential

MLS# 17031453 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 891 sqft

Welcome to 251 Ashley Ave. Unit C is a two-bedroom,2 baths Historic Charleston Single Home Built 1890. Unit C is located on the second level. Beau... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate

33 Pitt Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17031452 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 397 sqft

Charleston living at its finest! This newly renovated 1bd/1bath condo has all the bells and whistles including granite countertops, stainless steel... 

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$249,900
Increase +$10,000
Provided courtesy of Hayden Jennings Properties

54 Gibbes Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031239 / Active Contingent
4 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4374 sqft

Circa 1910, total luxury abounds within this very charming, turn-of-the-century masonry home, located in the heart of ''South of Broad.'' Recently ... 

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$1,875,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

41 Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031192 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 half bath, 4260 sqft

The Albert W. Todd House.This 3-story, 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath Colonial Revival home was built in 1909 as the architect's personal residence. Situated ... 

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$4,100,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc

8 Chisolm Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 17031363 / Active Contingent
3 br, 2 ba, 1 half bath, 1736 sqft

Circa 1928 and totally restored in 2007. House is bright with lots of windows, high ceilings, heart pine floors, open floor plan, and a great kitch... 

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$1,049,500
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC

158 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 17031359 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 half bath, 1404 sqft

This incredible unit in a downtown triplex property is situated in a desirable location only minutes from King Street, restaurants, shopping, and m... 

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$495,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
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