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 3435
30 Photos 3 Legare Street Charleston, SC 29401

3 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19031888 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3500 Sqft

This charming Carriage House style home is located on one of historic Charleston's most prestigious streets. Tucked away from the street, the Loutr... 

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$1,695,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
3 Photos 33 Lockwood Drive Charleston, SC 29401

33 Lockwood Drive
Charleston, SC 29401
The Harborage At Ashley Marina
Residential

MLS# 19031803 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, n/a Sqft

40 f boa slip a the Harborage At the Ashley marina. Located near Historic Downtown Charleston 

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$62,000
Provided courtesy of Intracoastal Properties of SC
4 Photos 201 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

201 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19031740 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2086 Sqft

Traditional Charleston single house with good bones in Cannonborough-Elliotborough. The owners restored this home for their own personal use years ... 

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$650,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
22 Photos 330 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401

330 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Dockside
Residential

MLS# 19031717 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1121 Sqft

Open loft condo in Dockside overlooking Charleston Harbor. Stylish upfittings create a living space equally as beautiful as its panoramic views. Ha... 

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$600,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
61 Photos 4 Beaufain Street Charleston, SC 29401

4 Beaufain Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 19031611 / Active
1 br, 2 ba, 975 Sqft

Located in the heart of Downtown Charleston, this sophisticated condo is what you have been looking for. Thoroughly renovated over the last severa... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
16 Photos 271 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

271 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19031877 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 1230 Sqft

Great Opportunity to own a completely renovated 3 bed 3 bath home downtown. The home has a modern floor plan with first floor full bathroom wet-roo... 

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$465,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
22 Photos 2 Poulnot Lane Charleston, SC 29401

2 Poulnot Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19031563 / Active Contingent
3 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1540 Sqft

Immaculate, turnkey townhouse conveniently situated in the heart of the historic district of Downtown Charleston, that has experienced no flood dam... 

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$495,000
Provided courtesy of The Exchange Company, LLC
46 Photos 12 Harleston Place Charleston, SC 29401

12 Harleston Place
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Place
Residential

MLS# 19031505 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2154 Sqft

With views of the Ashley River from this downtown Charleston townhome, this is a home & location you will LOVE! Three levels of living all begin af... 

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$874,900
Provided courtesy of Matt O'Neill Real Estate
17 Photos 253 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29403

253 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19031448 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 968 Sqft

Bright, sunny and beautifully renovated condominium located in a charming Victorian house. Notable features include pine floors, 10' ceilings, subs... 

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$430,000
Provided courtesy of Disher Hamrick & Myers Res Inc
30 Photos 272 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29403

272 Coming Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Cannonborough-elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19031527 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 1320 Sqft

Are you looking for a historic Four Square home in Charleston's hottest neighborhood? Then you have to check out 272 Coming Street. This Home nee... 

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$279,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston GPS, LLC
25 Photos 377 King Street Charleston, SC 29401

377 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 19031206 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1 Half Bath, 797 Sqft

COMPLETELY REMODELED AND MOVE-IN READY! Urban and chic, this two bedroom apartment is centrally located in the heart of downtown Charleston at the ... 

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$599,000
Provided courtesy of Luxury Simplified Real Estate, INC
59 Photos 5 Ladson Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Ladson Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19031197 / Active
4 br, 4 ba, 1 Half Bath, 3921 Sqft

Circa 1894, this wonderful home is on one of the quietest South of Broad cross-streets, between Meeting and King. Bright, light-filled rooms, tall ... 

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$3,195,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
39 Photos 3 Talon Court Charleston, SC 29403

3 Talon Court
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19031208 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1100 Sqft

Charm and character abound throughout this chic Charleston single home in Radcliffeborough. Tucked into a small off-street community, Talon Court c... 

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$600,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
33 Photos 33 Calhoun Street Charleston, SC 29401

33 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 19031060 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1745 Sqft

Looking for a Condo located close to all the amenities? This light-filled, 3 BR, top floor Condo has views to the N, E & W. Located across the stre... 

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$775,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
53 Photos 27 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

27 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19031034 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 2 Half Bath, 2071 Sqft

Built in 1842, this exceptional Ansonborough brick residence has much to offer! Formal living and dining rooms with functional fireplaces, original... 

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$1,375,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
15 Photos 5 Gadsdenboro Street Charleston, SC 29401

5 Gadsdenboro Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Gadsdenboro
Residential

MLS# 19031010 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1263 Sqft

Introducing our newest model home! This corner residence is full of natural light - a must see. Thoughtfully designed, this open floorplan features... 

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$844,000
Provided courtesy of East West Realty, LLC
19 Photos 251 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29401

251 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Downtown
Residential

MLS# 19031109 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 609 Sqft

Here's your opportunity to live in the heart of one of the world's most popular destinations, Charleston, South Carolina! Located at Meeting and We... 

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$300,000
Provided courtesy of Brand Name Real Estate
55 Photos 104 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

104 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19030920 / Active
3 br, 3 ba, 2100 Sqft

Beautiful Charleston Single home centrally located just off of Calhoun Street and within just two blocks of MUSC campus! The historic integrity has... 

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$789,000
Provided courtesy of The Exchange Company, LLC
41 Photos 83-A Church Street Charleston, SC 29401

83-A Church Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19030917 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1955 Sqft

Canopied by crepe myrtle trees on picturesque Church Street, this move-in ready pied-a-terre is characterized by historic charm with modern updates... 

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$1,250,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
31 Photos 24 Wentworth Street Charleston, SC 29401

24 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19030887 / Active
5 br, 5 ba, 1 Half Bath, 5228 Sqft

Built in 1840 this handsome three story brick residence retains it's original Greek Revival cornices, ceiling medallions, and black marble mantles.... 

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$2,295,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
6 Photos 38 Aiken Street Charleston, SC 29403

38 Aiken Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Eastside
Residential

MLS# 19030837 / Active Contingent
3 br, 3 ba, 1350 Sqft

Check out this awesome opportunity to own a brand new construction Home in Downtown Charleston. This home is located at 38 Aiken Street in a sectio... 

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$469,000
Provided courtesy of Charleston GPS, LLC
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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 11-18-2019 11:04 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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