This paper reports a novel method for fabrication of an electro-thermal heating element, as de-icer or anti-icer, for the polymer-based composites. The plasma spray technique was utilized for the deposition of a Nickel-Chrome-Aluminum-Yttrium (NiCrAlY) coating layer as a heating element on top of the glass/epoxy composite. To improve the adhesion strength and deposition efficiency of the coatings and to protect the composite fibers during grit blasting and spraying, a woven wire stainless steel mesh was added to the composite substrates during the composite fabrication process. Metal mesh will act as an anchor to keep the coating on the surface. Two types of woven wire and two types of NiCrAlY powder with the fine and coarse particle size distributions were used. Good processing parameters for grit blasting and plasma spraying are identified. It is found that the surface modification method applied to the composite substrates prior to the coating process makes a significant improvement in the coating thickness uniformity and deposition efficiency. Several tests were conducted on the coated samples for determination of their mechanical and electrical properties. Using flatwise tensile tests, it is shown that application of proper surface modification method and set of spray parameters could result in improving the coating bonding strength significantly. The electrical and thermal analyses of the coated samples are also performed. It is shown that the coated samples have a high capability in the generation of heat and can be used as a heating element.