In this work D2 tool steel coating is produced over a low carbon steel substrate using friction surfacing process. The process parameters are optimized to get a defect free coating. Microstructural characterization is carried out using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Infrared thermography is used to measure the thermal profile during friction surfacing of D2 steel. Wear performance of the coating is studied using Pin-on-Disk wear tests. A lower rotational speed of the consumable rod and higher translational speed of the substrate is found to result in thinner coatings. Friction surfaced D2 steel coating showed fine-grained martensitic microstructure compared to the as-received consumable rod which showed predominantly ferrite microstructure. Refinement of carbides in the coating is observed due to the stirring action of the process. The infrared thermography studies showed the peak temperature attained by the D2 coating to be about 1200. °C. The combined effect of martensitic microstructure and refined carbides resulted in higher hardness and wear resistance of the coating. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.