The possibility to coat steel substrates with a WC-Co hardmetal coating by means of electrophoretic deposition and subsequent microwave heating is reported. A fully densified coating with a final thickness up to 200 pm was achieved. Vickers hardness measurements revealed a difference of 600 Hv between the bulk material and the coating. (C) 2003 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.