This paper deals with the fabrication of ZrO2, Al2O3, ZrO2/Al2O3 and Al2O3/ZrO2 coatings on 304 stainless steel substrate by atmospheric plasma spraying. The microstructure and phase composition of the as-sprayed coatings were examined by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Hardness measurements were carried out using a Vickers hardness testing machine. Corrosion behaviour of the coatings was studied by salt spray testing in a mist of 5 wt% NaCl. Results indicate that the bilayered Al2O3/ZrO2 coating exhibits superior corrosion resistance when compared with that of the other coatings and this is ascribed to the presence of dense microstructure with very few pores in the coating. © 2015 Indian Ceramic Society.