AbstractIn this study, the effect of an atmospheric-pressure plasma treatment on the surface properties of sugar maple (Acer saccharum March.) and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) was analyzed by contact angle measurement and a water-based coating pull-off testing. The plasma gases used were Ar, N2, CO2, and air. It was found that the wettability with water and the coating adhesion of maple and spruce can be highly influenced by the nature of the plasma gas used and the plasma treatment time. For example, in the case of sugar maple, coating adhesion increased by 66% after 1.5 s of exposure to argon plasma. Repetition of the contact angle measurement one and two weeks after the initial plasma treatment showed that the plasma-induced modification is not permanent. Improvements in wettability and adhesion were also obtained with simpler, cheaper air plasmas, a result promising for the development of advanced plasma reactors operating at atmospheric pressure, specially designed for the wood industry.