Clean the furniture. Use a washcloth and a mild soap or a wood cleaner to wipe it down. Use a soft-bristled brush and wood cleaner to clean out crevices. Gouges can become discolored with dirt and sometimes will not come clean, so don't worry if the color is slightly off.
Use a putty knife to apply filler or putty. Apply enough so that it slightly overflows the gouge and you can sand down the excess later.
Allow the filler or putty to dry completely. Most types take a few hours to dry.
Sand down the putty or filler. Use a coarse grade of paper to sand along the grain of the furniture until the filler or putty lies even with the rest of the furniture. Use a very fine-grained sandpaper near the end to avoid ruining the furniture.
Use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe away the dust from sanding. Check that the surface is completely clean and smooth.
Match the color of the repair to that of the rest of the furniture. Apply a wood stain to gain the appropriate color. Use a sealant as well if the wood stain does not have one. Apply the sealant after the stain is dry. Work in a well-ventilated area when you use stain or sealant.