paint (oneself) into a corner

paint (oneself) into a corner

To create a predicament or unpleasant situation for oneself whereby there are no or very few favorable solutions or outcomes. I really painted myself into a corner by leaving this essay till the last minute! The candidate painted himself into a corner during the debate, having to take back several things he'd already said.
See also: corner, paint
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

paint oneself into a corner

Get oneself into a difficulty from which one can't extricate oneself. For example, By volunteering to do more work in the office and then taking a freelance job, George has painted himself into a corner . This idiom uses the graphic image of painting all of the floor except for the corner one stands in, so that one cannot leave without stepping on wet paint.
See also: corner, paint
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

paint yourself into a corner

or

box yourself into a corner

If you paint yourself into a corner or box yourself into a corner, you create difficulties for yourself by your own actions. The Government has painted itself into a corner on the issue of equalising the State pension age. You've boxed yourself into a corner, haven't you? You have no one to blame but yourself. Note: You can also say that someone paints you into a corner or boxes you into a corner, meaning they force you into a difficult situation. You'll fight to the death when you're boxed into a corner unless you're provided with a reasonable way out. Note: `Paint someone into a corner' refers to someone who is painting a floor and ends up in a corner of the room with wet paint all round them. `Box someone into a corner' refers to a boxer being forced into a corner of the ring and having no way of escaping.
See also: corner, paint
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

paint yourself into a corner

leave yourself no means of escape or room to manoeuvre.
See also: corner, paint
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also: