Nowadays atmospheric pressure cold plasma technologies attract growing interest in the field of surface processing of materials since the absence of vacuum equipments is expected to result in several benefits such as the reduction of process and reactor costs, the employment of easy-to-handle apparatuses, and the easier integration into continuous production lines. Among the different electrical discharges which allow to establish non-thermal plasma conditions at atmospheric pressure, dielectric barrier discharges (DBDs) can be considered one of the most popular approaches. The confident utilization of DBDs in surface treatment of materials strictly requires the knowledge of the most important aspects of their operational features which highly differentiate this approach from the well-established low pressure plasma technology. These and other aspects will be examined in this lecture along with some examples of the use of DBDs for the deposition of thin films. The investigation of the plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PE-CVD) of fluorocarbon coatings in DBDs will be presented, and our understanding on the influence of air and water vapour feed gas impurities on the overall deposition process will be discussed. Our recent results on the aerosol-assisted DBD deposition of nanocomposite thin films containing ZnO nanoparticles will be also presented.