Surface preparation prior to thermal spraying is a key step in ensuring a good adhesion of the coating onto the part to be coated. This article discusses the effects of laser treatment conditions on the substrate topography and coating adhesion. It investigates the properties of various types of coating applied to aluminum and titanium substrates using the PROTAL process. The paper compares the results obtained from coating of substrates directly in the "machined" state with those of a classical process (degreasing and subsequent sandblasting using aluminum oxide before coating). The results show that the PROTAL process offers the potential to avoid degreasing and steel shot blasting in numerous coating systems even with critical material combinations. In addition, the economic aspects of the process are discussed. Paper includes a German-language abstract.