Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites are increasingly being used in aircrafts especially for wing and tail components and automotive applications. Surface wettability of these thermoplastic composites is poor due to low surface energies causing difficulty in the surface painting process where necessary. To achieve durable painting the composite surface needs pre-treatment to modify the surface wettability, to remove surface contaminants, and loose, friable surfaces for better paint adhesion. Conventional surface treatments such as sand blasting, mechanical abrasion and chemical etching may cause delamination defects and damage to the brittle fibers affecting service life of the bulk composite. These methods also present occupational health, safety and environmental risks. This article reviewed texturing and cleaning of polymer, composites and metallic surfaces for enhancing adhesion performance in general and, in particular, the laser texturing and cleaning which is a potential substitute to conventional surface modification techniques of composites.