The green density and roughness of green ceramic layers determine their mechanical and micro structural properties after final sintering. These properties can be measured precisely by laser profilometry. The green density of thin layers (20-50 µm) could quickly be determined as accurately as 0.5% theoretical density. The influence of paste parameters (powder conditioning, solid content, binder, and dispersing agent) on the green density was studied systematically for electrolyte pastes (8 mol.-% yttria stabilised zirconia = 8YSZ) typically used in solid oxide fuel cell applications. It could be shown that a minimal binder content is required to achieve acceptable green densities. Pre-calcination of the powder yielded also significantly higher film densities. Dispersant agents contributed to a smoother surface in any case, however a significant effect on the packing density was only observed for the fine, non-calcined powder.