Pure nickel powder was low pressure plasma sprayed onto a steel substrate held at different temperatures during spraying. The as-sprayed coatings consist of columnar grains whose axes are nearly perpendicular to the lamellae composing the coatings. As the coating temperature becomes higher, the length of the columnar grains increases and is longer than the thickness of the lamellae, indicating the growth of the grains across the lamellar interfaces during spraying. On the other hand, the coatings that were heat treated after spraying consist of coarse equiaxed grains. The coatings that experienced high temperatures during spraying or the heat treated coatings have large porosity and contain large globular pores. The hardness, apparent density and the tensile strength of the coating itself were the highest for the coating prepared at a low temperature and became low on heat treatment. The thermal conductivity in the direction perpendicular to the coating was the largest for the coating that consisted of long columnar grains.