In the present research, WC-12 %Co cermet coatings were deposited on AISI–321 stainless steel substrate using air plasma spraying. During the deposition process, the standoff distance was varied from 80 to 130 mm with 10 mm increments. Other parameters such as current, voltage, time, carrier gas flow rate and powder feed rate etc. were kept constant. The objective was to study the effects of spraying distance on the microstructure of as-sprayed coatings. The microscopic analyses revealed that the band of spraying distance ranging from 90 to 100 mm was the threshold distance for optimum results, provided that all the other spraying parameters were kept constant. In this range of threshold distance, minimum percentages of porosity and defects were observed. Further, the formation of different phases, at six spraying distances, was studied using X-ray diffraction, and the phase analysis was correlated with hardness results.