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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1 Photos 76 Line Street Charleston, SC 29403

76 Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliottborough
Residential

MLS# 19008365 / Active
2 br, 1 ba, 1274 Sqft

Lot of potential with this cute home less than a block from King Street. Needs lots of work Fireplace does not work. One Bath located second floor... 

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$425,000
Provided courtesy of Century 21 Properties Plus
28 Photos 135 Beaufain Street Charleston, SC 29401

135 Beaufain Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19008328 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1456 Sqft

Welcome to 135 Beaufain Street! This beautifully updated home is located in a quiet section of Harleston Village just steps away from Colonial Lake... 

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$839,900
Provided courtesy of The Cassina Group
16 Photos 92 Spring Street Charleston, SC 29403

92 Spring Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 19008169 / Active
n/a br, n/a ba, 341 Sqft

92 A Spring Street is fully renovated in its original vernacular and a carefully preserved historic commercial offering in the heart of downtown. ... 

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$319,990
Provided courtesy of Tift Properties
30 Photos 37 N Adgers Wharf Charleston, SC 29401

37 N Adgers Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19008381 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 2 Half Bath, 1860 Sqft

This immaculately updated and maintained smart property is perfect for either a full-time residence or as a large lock-and-leave pied-a-terre. Main... 

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$1,595,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
34 Photos 25 Chapel Street Charleston, SC 29403

25 Chapel Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Wraggborough
Residential

MLS# 19008096 / Active
7 br, 4 ba, 3077 Sqft

Wonderful TRIPLEX in desirable Wraggborough. Live in the Front Unit and rent the back 2. Large Main Unit with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Open floor pl... 

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$1,290,000
Provided courtesy of Handsome Properties, Inc.
24 Photos 259 E Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

259 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19007934 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 636 Sqft

Spacious condominium on the first floor. Fully updated with tile, hardwoods and carpet. New HVAC split system. Off street parking and swimming pool... 

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$329,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
30 Photos 259 E Bay Street Charleston, SC 29401

259 E Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19007926 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 636 Sqft

Spacious top floor condominium with balcony. Panoramic views. Fully updated/renovated. Hardwoods, tile and carpet. Stainless steel appliances. New ... 

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$369,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
5 Photos 59 Cooper Street Charleston, SC 29403

59 Cooper Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 19008028 / Active
3 br, 1 ba, 2614 Sqft

Here is your opportunity to grab a great spot in the desired Eastside area of Charleston, near the Cigar Factory. This 3 bedroom home sits on a nic... 

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$375,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
46 Photos 113 Line Street Charleston, SC 29403

113 Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Elliotborough
Residential

MLS# 19007871 / Active Contingent
2 br, 2 ba, 1380 Sqft

Don't miss your opportunity to preview this beautifully renovated Charleston Single located in the heart of Elliotborough. This well preserved home... 

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$525,000
Provided courtesy of The Boulevard Company, LLC
35 Photos 6 Rosemont Street Charleston, SC 29403

6 Rosemont Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Residential

MLS# 19007877 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1584 Sqft

Excellent opportunity to own an income producing property located on the peninsula for under $500k! Live in one side and rent out the other to cove... 

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$465,000
Provided courtesy of BHHS Carolina Sun Real Estate
22 Photos 65 Vanderhorst Street Charleston, SC 29403

65 Vanderhorst Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19007711 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 800 Sqft

BEAUTIFUL ONE BEDROOM CONDO DOWNTOWN- NEW HVAC & TANKLESS WATER HEATER! 65 G Vanderhorst Street is the ultimate walk-to-everything location in down... 

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$350,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
15 Photos 17 Poulnot Lane Charleston, SC 29401

17 Poulnot Lane
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19007755 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1901 Sqft

Sophisticated Fitzsimons townhouse with walled garden and covered parking. Lease is in place with income of $49,800. Just off Queen Street on a cha... 

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$789,000
Provided courtesy of Carriage Properties LLC
41 Photos 55 Hasell Street Charleston, SC 29401

55 Hasell Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Ansonborough
Residential

MLS# 19007698 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1348 Sqft

Inviting 1830's historic condominium two blocks from the market and centrally positioned within Ansonborough Neighborhood steps away from shops, di... 

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$675,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
25 Photos 63 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, SC 29401

63 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, SC 29401
Berkeley Court
Residential

MLS# 19007641 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 306 Sqft

Berkeley Court condominiums are located in downtown Charleston and convenient to shopping, restaurants and historic areas. Not to mention the BEAUT... 

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$200,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
32 Photos 143 Queen Street Charleston, SC 29401

143 Queen Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19007651 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2400 Sqft

Charming double porches, a wrought iron gate and bricked path welcome you to this historic property. Built in 1870, this impeccably restored Charl... 

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$1,390,000
Provided courtesy of William Means Real Estate, LLC
29 Photos 18 Fulton Street Charleston, SC 29401

18 Fulton Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19007627 / Active
4 br, 3 ba, 1360 Sqft

This four bedroom townhouse is located only a few doors away from King Street on a quiet lane in Harleston Village. There is a loft on the third w... 

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$695,000
Provided courtesy of Lois Lane Properties
16 Photos 108 Smith Street Charleston, SC 29403

108 Smith Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffe Square
Residential

MLS# 19007568 / Active
2 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1194 Sqft

Rare opportunity!! Charming 2 bedroom house in walking distance to King Street, MUSC, College of Charleston, the farmer's market and many other thi... 

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$539,000
Provided courtesy of Daniel Ravenel Sotheby's International Realty
80 Photos 55 Radcliffe Street Charleston, SC 29403

55 Radcliffe Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Radcliffeborough
Residential

MLS# 19007952 / Active
12 br, 6 ba, 6804 Sqft

Presenting 55 Radcliffe, commonly known as 24 Thomas. Circa 1872. Comprised of six individually deeded condominiums. Symmetrically designed w/ iden... 

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$2,200,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One Real Estate
40 Photos 150 Bee Street Charleston, SC 29401

150 Bee Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Bee Street Lofts
Residential

MLS# 19007550 / Active
1 br, 1 ba, 806 Sqft

This gorgeous industrial style loft includes contemporary finishes and opens directly onto the large courtyard offering incredible views of the Ash... 

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$329,000
Provided courtesy of Keller Williams Realty Charleston
51 Photos 50 South Battery Street Charleston, SC 29401

50 South Battery Street
Charleston, SC 29401
South Of Broad
Residential

MLS# 19007537 / Active
3 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 1820 Sqft

Distinctive beauty! You are just steps from White Point Gardens, The Battery and award winning restaurants Constructed by Charles Drake circa 1890 ... 

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$900,000
Provided courtesy of Elaine Brabham and Associates
20 Photos
Open House: Tomorrow 1:00pm - 2:30pm
78 Legare Street Charleston, SC 29401

78 Legare Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Harleston Village
Residential

MLS# 19007488 / Active
4 br, 2 ba, 1 Half Bath, 2037 Sqft

The living is easy in this 3-story brick townhouse, close to everything that Charleston has to offer. Perfect for your primary residence or a char... 

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$769,000
Provided courtesy of Carolina One 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 03-23-2019 3:02 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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