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 3372
36 Photos
Open House: Sun September 22nd, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
8 Jasper Street Charleston, SC 29403

8 Jasper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19026498 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 2544 Sqft

Situated just minutes from King Street and College of Charleston, this beautiful Radcliffeborough home boasts character and charm that you can only... 

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$719,000
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
42 Photos 5 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

5 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19026496 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3100 Sqft

This elegant South of Broad masonry home has the best to offer. The turn-of-the-century open floor plan is flooded with light and historic details.... 

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$1,395,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
11 Photos 17 Ascot Alley Charleston, SC 29401

17 Ascot Alley
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Green
Residential

MLS# 19026467 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1560 Sqft

Fabulous location just a few blocks from the College of Charleston, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston School of Law, and all that do... 

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$509,000
Provided courtesy of The Exchange Company, LLC
24 Photos 14 Elizabeth Street Charleston, SC 29403

14 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 19026441 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1002 Sqft

Beautiful, gated two bedroom condo in Downtown Charleston. This condo includes many upgrades while still maintaining the beauty of a historic home ... 

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$499,500
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
35 Photos 70 Nassau Street Charleston, SC 29403

70 Nassau Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 19026404 / Active
5 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2784 Sqft

Nestled in the heart of downtown Charleston, 70 Nassau Street is unlike any other home in this area. Comprised of three individual units, this comp... 

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$925,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC
27 Photos 1 Harlem Court Charleston, SC 29403

1 Harlem Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 19026362 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 568 Sqft

Own a unique piece of Charleston history. This completely renovated cottage is set in a picturesque part of the city. You are walking distance of... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate Services
32 Photos 1 Limehouse Street Charleston, SC 29401

1 Limehouse Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19026262 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 2686 Sqft

Step into your South of Broad lifestyle! This classic Colonial is fresh and bright. The broad double front piazza is inviting and perfect for laz... 

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$1,745,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
25 Photos 58 Laurens Street Charleston, SC 29401

58 Laurens Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19026345 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 2752 Sqft

Located in the historic district of the peninsula, welcome to 58 Laurens St. This duplex offers the historic Charleston charm that you're looking f... 

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$1,390,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
29 Photos 150 Tradd Street Charleston, SC 29401

150 Tradd Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19026323 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1899 Sqft

This is the perfect property if your Client is looking for a Historic turn key property South of Broad. Beautiful hardwood floors , lots of light a... 

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$1,495,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
26 Photos 67 Legare Street Charleston, SC 29401

67 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Crafts House
Residential

MLS# 19026166 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1464 Sqft

A rare opportunity to own one of the largest units in the highly coveted Crafts House on the corner of Queen and Legare Street in Harleston Village... 

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$995,000
Provided courtesy of Robertson Howland Properties
21 Photos 77 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29401

77 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19026155 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1964 Sqft

This home is ideally located, within 2 blocks of C of C and MUSC, as well as walking distance to some of the city's most popular shops and restaura... 

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$650,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
6 Photos 90 Logan Street Charleston, SC 29401

90 Logan Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19026258 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1820 Sqft

Freshly painted end unit townhome centrally located downtown with off street parking and private fenced courtyard. The main level includes a large ... 

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$645,390
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
20 Photos
Open House: Sun September 22nd, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
48 Montagu Street Charleston, SC 29401

48 Montagu Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19026092 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1439 Sqft

This property checks all the boxes - historic charm, private outdoor piazza with garden, and off-street parking! Fabulous, fully renovated condo ... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Maison Real Estate
29 Photos 16 Bogard Street Charleston, SC 29403

16 Bogard Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19026030 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1704 Sqft

Investor Alert! - 4 bedroom 2 bath home in Elliottborough that has been a strong rental for the last 10 years. Home is currently rented for $3650 p... 

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$650,000
Provided courtesy of Marshall Walker Real Estate
17 Photos 21 George Street Charleston, SC 29401

21 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
George And Society
Residential

MLS# 19026017 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1306 Sqft

Fabulous location between King and Meeting. Great open living space with soaring ceiling in living and dining areas. Loft area with half bath coul... 

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$935,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
16 Photos 3 Queen Street Charleston, SC 29401

3 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
French Quarter
Residential

MLS# 19026006 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 778 Sqft

Unbelievable opportunity for a fabulously located one bedroom condominium in the heart of the French Quarter. This loft style unit is situated in a... 

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$529,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
17 Photos
Open House: Sat September 21st, 10:30am - 1:00pm
123 Ashley Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

123 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 19026000 / Active
5 br, 2 ba, 2618 Sqft

A charming downtown home on a corner lot at Cannon Park within walking distance to MUSC and Roper Hospitals, College of Charleston, and more. Feat... 

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$1,295,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston West Ashley
27 Photos 59 Radcliffe Street Charleston, SC 29403

59 Radcliffe Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19025991 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1018 Sqft

Charming, modern new construction house with 2 bedrooms plus 2.5 baths and off-street parking on tree-lined street surrounded by historic homes and... 

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$575,000
Provided courtesy of AgentOwned Charleston Group
39 Photos 135 South Battery Charleston, SC 29401

135 South Battery
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19025972 / Active
5 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 4659 Sqft

Owner has experienced no flooding inside home during recent storms. Set back from the street under the canopy of a gorgeous live oak, this brick Ge... 

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$3,650,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
46 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 19025942 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 822 Sqft

Welcome to The Gadsden, Charleston's newest Luxury Condo Community! **This highly desired Third Floor unit with a Private Porch, Water Views & Open... 

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$637,500
Provided courtesy of ERA Wilder Realty Inc
46 Photos
Open House: Sun September 22nd, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
10 Sires Street Charleston, SC 29403

10 Sires Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 19025926 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1307 Sqft

This Charleston single with double piazzas in the hub of downtown was built in 1852 and COMPLETELY restored in 2018. Every single inch of the house... 

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$615,000
Reduced -$10,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina Elite Real Estate
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Broker Reciprocity The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker ReciprocitySM Program of the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Marshall Walker Real Estate are marked with the Broker ReciprocitySM logo or the Broker ReciprocitySM thumbnail logo (a little black house) and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Last updated on 09-19-2019 4:04 PM EST . The broker providing these data believes them to be correct, but advises interested parties to confirm them before relying on them in a purchase decision. Copyright 2019 Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved.
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