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

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