Method for coating metal or ceramic surfaces. A gas jet of high-energy plasma is generated (approx. 12000 K) to which the powdered coating material is added. It melts and is propelled onto the substrate surface where it solidifies immediately. Particularly useful in the manufacture of hard protecting coatings with a defined coating thickness. The process can be carried out at ambient pressure (air plasma spraying - APS) or in a vacuum under an inert gas (vacuum plasma spraying - VPS).