Premature failure of dies is a critical problem of manufacturers in hot-working processes, e.g. metal die casting, hot extrusion and/or thixoextrusion of aluminium/magnesium or steel. Typically, die material has to be resistant to heat cycling or corrosion environment, to plastic deformation and wear, especially when exposed to high temperature during continuous working cycle. The resistance of dies could be increased by the modification of their surfaces, i.e. by the application of an adequate coating. An improvement of the resistance of H11 steel substrate will be presented and discussed.