In the current study, WC-Co and Cr3C2-NiCr coatings deposited on 90MnCrV8 steel surface via an atmospheric plasma spray (APS) system were modified by the plasma transferred arc (PTA) welding method. Microstructural defects including micro-cracks, voids, pores, and non-uniform zones were determined in the APS deposited layers. The microstructural defects were terminated by the PTA melting process due to the dissolving pool at high temperature. Strong metallurgical bonding between the coating layer and substrate and columnar dendrites and inter-dendritic precipitates were observed during the PTA melting process. Following the PTA melting process, MC, M3C, and M7C3 hard phases were formed in the coating layers. The hardness and wear performance of the coating layers significantly increased due to the PTA surface modification. The main reason for the significant increases in wear performance corresponded to the newly formed hard carbide phases and elimination of microstructural defects via the PTA surface modification.