The manufacture of thin (< 100 µm) and different, dense ceramic layers by atmospheric plasma spraying can be achieved by using appropriate coating conditions. Major process parameters are certainly particle temperature and velocity and also substrate temperature. Hence, the particle properties have been controlled and optimized by the use of particle diagnostic tools, the substrate temperature was controlled by the use of pyrometers. Another important parameter is the choice of an appropriate powder to avoid cracks and pores in the coating. In the paper the influence of the mentioned parameters will be discussed and several examples of dense coatings given. Applications in the field of solid oxide fuel cells, environmental barrier coatings, and membranes will be described.